Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Comments from Moscow Chamber Survey

I have the entire press release from the Moscow Chamber of Commerce concerning the online survey they conducted about large-scale retail development. The member comments from the survey are pretty interesting. The Daily News story only scratched the surface. I'm going to put the comments into three categories.

Fightin' Words

  • “(T)he best way to combat the proposed commercial complex across the state line is to get busy and rezone more commercial areas…”

  • “(M)oscow depends on drawing customers from a large geographic area in order to survive. As retail choices in Moscow diminish, shoppers (including locals), are looking to other communities to supply their needs. Moscow needs to encourage competition to attract a customer base…”

  • “(D)owntown will not survive if there is no other reason to come to Moscow. We need to get our heads out of the sand and re-establish Moscow as a viable retail center…”

  • “The truth is if you don’t bring in the big box retailers – or provide other cost-effective alternatives for the shopping community – they will leave town to go shopping. I’m all for helping the local business community grow but before I say “no big box”, I’d rather hear from our business community on their vision for local growth…”

  • “At a recent Moscow Civic Association meeting where WalMart was discussed, three-quarters of the panelists were pro-WalMart Supercenter as long as zoned appropriately. The city should hire an economics firm (preferably a local one) to do a study of what a WalMart Supercenter would bring in terms of growth, taxes, etc., and what we’d miss if they went into Whitman County…”

  • As a new (Chamber) member, yet still a resident of Pullman, I have seen many businesses opt for Moscow versus Pullman. If it is clearly evident that this has had a positive impact on your economy, do you really want to see that goose looking to start laying its eggs in Pullman now instead…?”

  • “In order to remain a shopping center for outlying areas, Moscow needs to compete with other large retail centers. Consumers will choose to go to areas where choices can be made and a variety of goods are available. Thinking we will promote local business by slamming the doors on new opportunities reflects a skewed view of economics. If there is no competition, there will be no retail. Moscow needs to identify adequate real estate and pursue a well-rounded retail environment…”

  • Common Sense

  • “As a lifelong resident, I welcome the addition of new and exciting shopping opportunities…”

  • “New retail growth should be welcomed to our community. The rules of the game must be the same for all…”

  • “I don’t like nor do I patronize large box retailers because they take away the uniqueness of each community. However, I don’t feel right about fighting them knowing that other people like them and have a right to choose large retailers as I have to choose small local shops. Let people vote with their dollars and may the best retailer win…”

  • The Usual Suspects

  • “New business should “fit” into existing retail areas if possible…”

  • “Building up in downtown Moscow would be great…”

  • “These big box developments are like cancer, once they come, they take over and cover as much area as they can. I’d really like more smart growth here…”

  • "I don’t believe there is a sufficient population base to support a WalMart Supercenter in Pullman and Moscow…”

  • Let’s not be absurdly pro-business and fan the flames of development as fast, as often, and as much as possible without regards to the consequences. We should try to attract something other than big boxes. Spokane is a fun place to visit, but there is a reason why I don’t live there. So what if there are some leakage dollars going to Spokane, etc..?

  • “Grow smarter, not just bigger…”

  • "Growth will come. We can plan and guide it, or we can ignore and regret it. I want us to plan…”

  • “(B)ig boxes…can create a negative impact on the community because a living wage and appropriate benefits are generally not offered…”
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