My reponse to Barbara Feil's letter that Scotty references below:
More power to ya Barb. Unfortunately, no one else seems to agree with you. Every year, they are taking $92 million in taxable revenue over to Moscow, Lewiston, Clarkston, and Spokane. That costs the city $720,000 a year in sales tax revenue. Why is that? Well, this ain’t Walton’s Mountain and ShopKo and Dissmores ain’t Ike Godsey’s General Store. There are PLENTY of other retail options within close driving distance that have much better selection and prices than what Pullman stores offer.
To wit, this morning I needed a set of headphones with a ¼” plug for my radio show. ShopKo was out, so they lost the sale. My money went to Wal-Mart and my tax dollars went to Idaho instead.
“If I want clothes, I go to Goodwill or Ken Vogels.” (Dr. Evil voice)Riiiigggghhhtt.
Regardless of your elitist tastes being opposed to “giant, ugly big-box stores” (Have you even seen the exterior plan? Wal-Mart will be the nicest store in Pullman), that’s where people want to shop. The days of horse and buggy are long gone. We can either get some big box stores in Pullman or we can all head over to Moscow with tin cups and ask for donations for our parks, streets, police and firefighters. Wal-Mart could easily bring (Dr. Evil voice again) One MILLLION dollars a year in tax revenues to Pullman.
Meanwhile, all those Pullman stores you mentioned have been competing with Wal-Mart in Moscow for the last fifteen years. At least if we turn Pullman into a shopping destination like Moscow, those Pullman merchants will be much better off than they are now.
Do you find it the least bit ironic that a fair amount of the Pullman businesses you mentioned are national chain stores (Safeway, Dissmores, Les Schwab, Shopko & Rite-Aid)? What is your interest in protecting their monopoly? Who cares if they fight it out for our business?
Speaking of shame, Safeway moved into a big new store a few years ago and their old store at Wheatland Mall is still a vacant eyesore. Where’s the shame over that?
I would suggest, Barbara, that you are the one wearing blinders. You can hide behind aesthetics and personal tastes, but the immutable laws of economics will not be ignored. You are free to keep on shopping at Ken Vogel Clothing (bad news, Goodwill is moving to Moscow, see what I mean about economics?), but if you don’t mind, the rest of us would like to keep Pullman from going under.
And by the way, you could be quite brief when listing the places to shop and eat in Pullman.