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An asset

July 11, 2013

I read with great interest Sunday's story on the great working being done in our area by Mr. Klingerman. I think he has greatly added to the quality of life here and has created so many job....

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(17)

MrShaman

Jul-11-13 6:19 AM

"Instead of more parking decks or lots, why not some decent stores downtown besides Wegmans and Kohls?" - Mark Bowers

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Define "decent". It's not as if locals aren't doing an adequate-enough job, ignoring businesses that already exist! You really believe more (potential) business-owners should give the locals' more "options"??

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wwhickok

Jul-11-13 6:33 AM

First of all, the businesses that already exist, Wegmans/Khols get a ton of business. As for the other small businesses, unfortunately, I think the problem there is that they don't appeal to many people. The changing of the times has shown in the interests of society and many of the small locally owned stores, sadly, don't seem to match those interests. I for one can admit that I don't go into many stores downtown. Gustonian Gifts, with my wife, may be one of the very few I frequent outside of Wegmans and Khols in the immediate downtown area.

Honestly, our entire Downtown area needs to be revitalized, it's sad, unfortunate, but true.

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spike2

Jul-11-13 7:19 AM

Frankly Shaman, aside from Gustonian Gifts or a quick run in a candy store, where would you suggest anyone shop downtown. I like Otto's but I can get a bigger selection online or it's worth the trip to Barnes and Noble in Lewisburg. Lewisburg has many small business owners and an enjoyable downtown.

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wwhickok

Jul-11-13 7:54 AM

Exactly Spike. I enjoy Otto's too to a small degree, but honestly...outside of the bars and restaurants which aren't really shopping of course, you've got the Clothier, Plankenhorn Stationery, Amber Rose Bridal, Le Chocolat, C.A Reed Party Store, Gustonian Gifts, and a couple other very small shops that I rarely see anyone in.

Of that list, Amber Rose makes sense, I'd rather go to Staples, and I've never been in the Clothier, ever, and like I said, My wife and I frequent Gustonian Gifts.

There's some different advertising agencies downtown and a few galleries.

There is a few Jewelers though I only personally go into Kinley's. There's tons of bars and restaurants, several coffee shops, only a handful of restaurants would I consider unique.

The biggest draw to downtown I'd say is the Community Arts Center & the Prison...which is just sad.

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GysgtUSMC

Jul-11-13 8:14 AM

Spike I agree. I'll be the first to admit that I travel to Lewisburg too. Williamsport could take some lessons for the very enjoyable downtown shopping experience they provide.

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MrShaman

Jul-11-13 8:38 AM

"As for the other small businesses, unfortunately, I think the problem there is that they don't appeal to many people. The changing of the times has shown in the interests of society and many of the small locally owned stores, sadly, don't seem to match those interests." - wwhickok

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The "changing of the times" is a relative-concept. Seeing-as-how beliefs & faith are about as much "change" as (too) many locals will tolerate...we can only HAVE so-many religious-bookstores/religious-paraphernalia-stores, in town.

My experience, with variety, is related to the Pearl Street Mall (Boulder) & 6th Street (Austin)...variety that too-many Williamsporters would consider not-of-this-Earth.

I'd say downtown WELL-represents the locals' "risky"-proprieties.

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MrShaman

Jul-11-13 8:43 AM

"Frankly Shaman, aside from Gustonian Gifts or a quick run in a candy store, where would you suggest anyone shop downtown. Lewisburg has many small business owners and an enjoyable downtown." - spike2

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AGREED!!!!!!!!!!!

I'd assumed (for TOO long) that Williamsport just MIGHT start reflecting the culture of other college-towns.

Yeah...I know...I know.....

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wwhickok

Jul-11-13 9:04 AM

YOu're entitled to your opinion even if it's incorrect Sham.

You're allowed to think what you want, for example I think you're an idiot.

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wwhickok

Jul-11-13 10:55 AM

Yeah I'm not really sure how much of downtown outside of the bars and a few restaurants appeals to College students at all. That doesn't even make sense Sham.

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spike2

Jul-11-13 2:32 PM

Why van't we model after Lewisburg or even Bloomsburg's downtown? We have 2 colleges, they have one. i think we should keep the many nice bars and restaurants. A Barnes and Noble would be a draw to college kids. A small outlet style from say Pine to Hepburn, including third and forth would draw more people than Victorian homes ever will but they too would benefit from more people coming to the city.

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enigma

Jul-11-13 3:59 PM

First, Williamsport is not a college town. Yes it has two small colleges, but they do not make up enough of the population to call it a college town. It could never survive catering to the college population. Second, Williamsport is not a big city like Austin or Boulder. It is small city and will never have the kind of retail diversity that a big city can support. Third, Williamsport is not a tourist attraction. It is a small industrial city and that's what it needs to concentrate on. Until we do that, the fiscal problems of the area will continue. It's that simple.

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enigma

Jul-11-13 4:10 PM

Bobbie2,"Actually 1/3 of the cities population are college attendees, but I see little targeted marketing toward that demographic."

That's because college students don't have the kind of disposable income that working people have. What they do have they spend on food and booze. I think we've got that covered. We don't need to market to people who are here. They already spend money here. We need to produce things here to sell elsewhere. That will bring money into the area. That's what's needed. The colleges do that to some extent, but they are here and not growing, so there's no growth potential there. We need manufacturing, not retail. Manufacturing brings money in, retail sends money out. It's not really that complicated.

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spike2

Jul-11-13 7:02 PM

Enigma, Lewisburg is smaller than Williamsport.What manufacturing do you think still exists, will be created or is coming to this area? Do you know the median age of Lycoming County residents?Victorian houses and Little League do not make us attractive. We have the CAC and bars and restaurants.

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spike2

Jul-12-13 8:05 AM

Bobbie, we agree 100%.

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wwhickok

Jul-15-13 10:34 AM

You might be surprised at how big of a draw things like Waffle House and/or IHop are too. I know that sounds silly but, speaking from experience, Waffle House is normally a very big college-kid draw.

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wwhickok

Jul-15-13 10:40 AM

One Thing I will say, to add on to what Spike said is, we also have the Cinema Center, which I feel was a step in the right direction, getting a movie Theatre back into the City. (technically speaking Williamsport never had one to my knowledge, it was in loyalsock). As far as manufacturing, the problem there is that the Gas Industry is buying up all the would-be manufacturing land/buildings. Frankly, the Gas Industry is part of the reason for the lack of jobs. Manufacturing Companys like Shopvac which gets tons of business have moved their business to China and New York, while Shopvac is still there, they have added a large number of individuals to Williamsports long list of unemployed, I know, I used to be on that list.

It's fine to add more manufacturing to Reach Road and the like areas, but when you get downtown, frankly, it calls for retail and retail CAN make the city money, albeit it on a smaller scale. Take someplace like Atlantic City for example that has

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wwhickok

Jul-15-13 10:47 AM

-continued-

major brand outlets such as Puma, Converse, Nautica, Calvin Klein, etc. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting for a moment we do anything like that here. There is a reason those types of outlets succeed in Atlantic City. My point is, there is room for expansion and change. I agree that the Victorian Houses on 3rd and 4th Street aren't a draw anymore in Williamsport, if they ever were.

You DO have to appeal and draw your local citizens. If you don't care about your locals, eventually they will leave, when they all leave, who's paying the costs of the city? What's that, no one you say? that's right, no one. Do I ever envision a time where there is a 0 population in Williamsport, no, but that's not really my point.

The city needs change, needs revamping, revitalization, it needs NEW. The times of the old are long gone, it's not longer succeeding, change is never easy, but change is often necessary. In this case it is needed!

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