Opinion: Please support Fruita businesses one day a month
Free Press Opinion Columnist
I breathed a sigh of relief last week as I saw my first hummingbird of the season. For me, seeing those tiny birds is the official end to cold and crummy weather. It signals the beginning of my favorite time of the year that extends May to November. After hanging my feeder and watching birds vie for nectar, I was reminded of the new cat in the neighborhood that takes liberties in everyone’s yard. Needless to say, I will be very disappointed if the free-roaming feline affects my little, feathery friends.
Alliteration aside, my point is that I love sitting in my backyard. I have created a space that is both peaceful and pleasant (by the way, Cullen Purser, the arbor you built for me rocks!).
Like most people, I live in a subdivision with neighbors soon to be on all sides. It can be a great community experience or it can be an isolated one. It just depends on the players and neither way is wrong. When I retreat to my backyard it’s because I need some down time, usually with a glass of wine.
I was recently talking with a friend who works at a downtown business, and the subject of increasing resident visitation to the downtown came up. It is no secret that it’s about the same 500-1,000 people living in the area who actually use the downtown. On the upside, it makes it really easy to meet people and become a “regular” in establishments. On the downside, there are about 12,000 people not taking advantage of what is offered.
So, how do we increases the base of the user group? There are approximately 13,000 people living within city limits. How do we get a bigger portion of those residents to use the restaurants and services not only in the downtown, but also in the Kokopelli area and on the highway?
I understand when people come home from work, they are tired and don’t always want to socialize. After a hard day of working, it’s easy to come home, close the garage door and retreat to the backyard or sofa as the season may dictate. I know at some point we have all felt this way. But what if you set aside one day a month to patronize just one of our Fruita establishments? Anything from a $2 Happy Hour beer to a full meal, just the presence of the other 12,000 people would make an incredible difference to our local small businesses.
Fruita Fourth Friday has been going on for well over a year now, and I am still asked: “What is it?” This event was organized by our very own city councilor, Kyle Harvey. Basically, it encourages restaurants to provide entertainment and businesses to keep their doors open longer. As you may have heard, it is now morphing into a Food Truck Fridays event as well.
With summer rapidly approaching, the biking tourists will soon move up to cooler temperatures; so it is increasingly important to support our local small businesses.
Consider joining your fellow Fruitains one day a month for some “community building.” Regardless of whether you are watching people or hummingbirds, I hope you are outside enjoying this beautiful place we live.
Fruita is your community of choice!
Lori Buck is a Fruita native and current mayor.
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