Rifle expects Glenwood Meadows’ impact to be short-lived | PostIndependent.com

Rifle expects Glenwood Meadows’ impact to be short-lived

RIFLE – Glenwood Springs took a financial hit when a Wal-Mart Supercenter opened in Rifle 2003. Now Rifle is bracing for a return blow.Rifle City Manager John Hier said the city budgeted for a flattening of sales tax revenues from Wal-Mart following the opening of Glenwood Meadows, in anticipation of losing some shoppers to Glenwood Springs. Hier said other area communities probably also are watching to see how Glenwood Meadows will affect their sales tax revenues, and budgeting conservatively.Rifle Mayor Keith Lambert said he thinks the impact on Rifle will be short-lived.”The bottom line is that the novelty of having the Meadows open will certainly attract a lot of consumers, a lot of business, and then everything will seek its own level once again,” he said.Glenwood city manager Jeff Hecksel agreed that Glenwood Meadows will enjoy an initial, but temporary, surge of shoppers. “The newness factor wears off,” he said.But sales tax revenue growth will continue as more stores open there, he said.Lambert thinks Rifle will withstand the new competition well because it had been underserved and underestimated by retailers before the opening of Wal-Mart, which also attracted other retail growth in town.”We’ve never had this kind of shopping experience in Rifle. … Business all the sudden recognized, ‘Oh, there’s a market there and a market to be tapped.'”Glenwood Meadows “is not something that’s going to cause Rifle to dry up and blow away,” he said.”I think as far as the overall direction that this county goes, the playing field is becoming more level. The health of Glenwood Springs doesn’t mean the demise of Rifle and vice versa.”

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