Glenwood Meadows shopping center Targets local consumers |

Glenwood Meadows shopping center Targets local consumers

Post Independent/Kelley CoxLeft to right, Summer Pennetta of Aspen, Shelley Meisler of Carbondale and Pippa Klumb of Basalt compare purchases at the grand opening of the Glenwood Meadows Target store in October.

The face and economy of Glenwood Springs underwent drastic change this year as the new Glenwood Meadows shopping center flipped on its lights in early October. The new shopping center is slated to employ nearly 500 people by the time it is complete in 2006, many of whom were already on the job by November as big-box retailers Target and Lowe’s, and other major chain businesses Bed Bath and Beyond, Gart Sports, Petco, and Pier 1 Imports opened one after the other. Chili’s Grill and Bar was the last new business to open by year’s end.

After much speculation about what kind of impact the new shopping center would have on downtown, most merchants there were optimistic that Meadows might attract more customers to Glenwood Springs and downtown. Other business owners were concerned that the new center was affecting their workforce, making it difficult to hire good employees. Nancy Page, manager of the Main St. Gallery on Grand Avenue, said she believes it’s inevitable Meadows will impact downtown. But, she said, “we’re catering to different people, a different customer base.”

Downtown businesses offer better service and better products than the chain stores at Meadows, she said. “I think downtown is strong and vibrant and alive and will remain that way,” she said.

Meadows had another impact that caught many consumers by surprise: the 1.5 percent public improvement fee added onto each purchase. The PIF was approved by the metropolitan districts that surround Meadows and is collected to repay the center’s developer for public infrastructure improvements. After the Glenwood Springs’ quarter-cent sales tax increase in January, customers can expect to pay at least 9.8 percent in taxes and fees at most Meadows stores.

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