I am a working college student living in Pullman. In the last couple of months I have heard a lot of talk about Pullman getting a Wal-Mart. The location the Pullman City Council decided on is located right across from the new and improved Safeway, which was built not more than a year ago. Not to mention every time I went into Safeway, I was bombarded with people asking my opinion about the proposed new Wal-Mart.So even though she admits that ShopKo is not "the best store out there," that she does a lot of shopping in Moscow because of Wal-Mart, and that Wal-Mart will bring jobs to Pullman, the writer still seems more concerned about Moscow's economy and Pullman's small-town feel.
The Pullman City Council gave the people a chance to argue the decision to get a Wal-Mart. These times however, were on Friday mornings when most people are at school or in staff meetings, like where I work. There was no time for me to sneak out of work to go say yea or nay on whether I want a Wal-Mart in town. Sure, it would provide a lot of jobs, but what about the jobs we already have in Pullman? ShopKo is going to have problems if Pullman gets a new store that is similar to itself. I like Shopko, but it's not the best store out there.
Moscow's economy will no doubt suffer as well. Wal-Mart is the only reason why I go to Moscow. No Wal-Mart, I have no reason to go to Moscow. But if I were in town already, I would be more inclined to spend time at Hastings, walk around the mall and get something to eat, for example. ...
Might Pullman be growing too fast? Are we losing that small-town feel? Some might think so. I am one of those.
I wonder if she has considered that Pullman's newest major retail store (ShopKo) was built over 10 years ago. That hardly seems like "fast growth" to me. Heavily under-retailed, suffering sales leakages in every major category except restaurants and 80 miles from ther closest interstate, we are a long ways from losing our "small-town" feel.
But Pullman IS growing, and we have to recapture that sales tax leakage if we want to maintain the quality of life we now enjoy. It doesn't come for free. I wish people could understand that.
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