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Post Independent Opinion

Glenwood Meadows has arrived and so have thousands of shoppers. As the swarm of shoppers zeroed in on Target, it was the official start of a different Glenwood Springs. A city that is more than the Hot Springs Pool, a city that is more than the right turn to Aspen. A city that now offers more than beauty, recreation and tourism.Glenwood Springs is now officially a shopping destination. In some ways, Glenwood always attracted shoppers but not with the variety that Meadows will offer.With any addition like Meadows, there will be a price. More traffic, more people, more pressure on the small businesses in downtown and other areas of Glenwood Springs. More commercialism and less small-town appeal.There are pluses and minuses with Glenwood Meadows.Target is open, and more than 30 other retailers will follow. With Lowes, Petco, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Pier 1 Imports and many more poised to open over the next several months, Glenwood Meadows will indeed change Glenwood Springs.Like any large development, and this is a large development that encompasses 380 acres and will include 475 housing units, there was plenty of opposition.But it is here like it or not.Everyone should be ready for the good and bad that comes with this retail development.The good comes in the form of extra sales tax revenue and more employment opportunities.Glenwood Meadows developers are projecting $103 million in annual sales and $3.3 million in sales tax revenue for the city.Interestingly enough, the city of Glenwood Springs estimates that, with Meadows, its total annual sales tax revenue will be $2.05 million. Thats a difference of $1.25 million.An estimate that demonstrates that the city is anticipating a substantial drop in sales tax revenues from non-Meadows businesses.Theres the hope that Glenwood Meadows will attract more shoppers and those extra shoppers will also benefit other businesses.Time will tell if thats a reality, but just as the city is predicting, some non-Meadows businesses will suffer possibly many will suffer.Businesses in West Glenwood, downtown and south Glenwood will be facing a daunting challenge over the next few months and years. Meadows may be new to Glenwood Springs but the big-box argument is not new to smaller communities. Generating sales tax revenue at the expense of small businesses is a modern-day trend.Hopefully, locals wont forget about the small businesses and will funnel some of their patronage toward them.The opening of Glenwood Meadows signaled a change in Glenwood Springs.Sometimes, you have to take good with the bad.Its up to you to decide which is which.


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