Offer more, better

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To the Editor:

Dear Mesquite businesspeople:

I’ve recently read about ramped-up efforts to bring in new business and or make the present businesses in Mesquite more effective.
Because we’ve spent the last five winters in the Mesquite area (just over the hill in Desert Skies), perhaps we can offer some perspective. Please know that we patronize local businesses whenever we can, and we realize this community has limitations but I believe there’s room for growth.
Services. We have a large, high-end fifth-wheel trailer and tried to purchase new (high-quality) carpeting for it. The job would require more carpeting than our master bedroom at home but the local flooring store told us immediately “we won’t do RVs”. The local furniture store doesn’t even sell carpeting. “Attitude.”  Really?
Iron Mountain Cleaners and the body shop off West Pioneer gave excellent service.
Shopping. One clothing store and Wal-Mart. Both are crudely insufficient. One has silly clothing for 90-years-olds who want sparkles and flowers; the other we will not step into.
Groceries. Smith’s is all there is, besides Wal-Mart?
Casinos. A-plenty. Yes, we enjoy them.
Theaters. There, you rank well.  Congrats. We don’t understand why the theater we prefer (Redd Hills) is apparently struggling because they’ve consistently had the higher-quality films we enjoy.
Navigation: It’s almost like Mesquite is anti-business. Those prettified lane dividers (rather than center turn lanes) make it a chore to visit most businesses. It’s even hard to get in and out of Popeye’s Chicken and the post office from all directions. When it’s hard to turn into a business, people just don’t do so. I’ve talked to others and they agree.
I don’t know what the winter population of Mesquite is, but the sign says 17,000+ and that doesn’t include the population of surrounding areas with no shopping at all.
Meanwhile, Ukiah, California (about 15,000 population) and 60 miles north of Santa Rosa, will soon have a Costco store. They also have a Home Depot, Michael’s crafts, Target, Wal-Mart, J.C. Penney and much other shopping. They have LES SCHWAB!
We find ourselves in St. George at least once a week for groceries (Harmons) and basics (Costco), as well as better restaurants. We do not enjoy driving through the gorge but we must.
Suggestion: You have a closed casino. That site would be an excellent location for an outlet mall or a Costco store.
Please take this not as criticism, but as a suggestion of what would be useful to the community and businesses.

Kris Baker
Layton, Utah

Comments

  1. Gloria Becker says:

    As a full time resident here, I can tell you that any business here suffers in the months you “snowbirds” are not here. If you could find a way to generate your ideas in the months you are not here, I’m sure the business community would love to hear them.

    • I must agree! We do need more stores and business’s. They will survive in the summer months as more and more snowbirds become full time residents. We need more restaurants! Now the 19th Hole is closing and it had great food. We need a good American food restaurant like we use to have like the Chalet Café. How about a Wendy’s or a Carl’s Jr.. There is no choice for fast food hamburgers.. I have lived in this town since 1986 and I have seen the growth. I have seen business’s open and close. What happen to Little Cesars Pizza? Poor management..?
      I so agree it would be great to have more choices in this town. I think they need to do a poll and see what business the people would like to see come in. This town is starving for business’s..

  2. Thank you Kris for voicing what many feel. Your situation with your trailer is something that crossed my mind. There is a new freeway exit being built on the south end of town. There is an RV park close by and there is a possibility that a truck stop could occupy part of the area. Because of the RV park, I have thought a good business could be an RV store and service station.

    I have written to many businesses, noting the increasing population and encouraging them to consider a location in Mesquite. To my chagrin, the response is usually that the population does not meet their criteria to warrant consideration. I think that impression (and others) is something that needs to be addressed.

  3. I am so glad to hear more people agree that Mesquite needs more business. Thank you Kris for posting this on our paper. Becky there are many ways businesses here can survive the summer months they just need to get creative. How about some summer sales to attract the locals to shop? How about making their presence felt in the community such as donating/partaking with local community events such as Mesquite Days. How about reaching to the young shoppers and advertising on Facebook? I hear this greatly helped out our new local business the Splash Pad jump start revenue. How about attracting people from Saint George to get away from the hustle and bustle of their city life? How about Mesquite invests more on promoting outdoor activities that will attract outdoor enthusiast? I can continue on but I think the point has been made. Local business owners need to be creative and use things like social media to their advantage. It would help if our council gave our local businesses some tax breaks/incentives/reduction in fees during the summer months 🙂

  4. This all sounds wonderful but until the population reaches critical mass these are just pipe dreams. Mesquite needs to focus on the things it does have in order to attract more full time residents to the area which in turn attracts more business. A golf course for every traffic light, 5000 miles of ATV trails in our backyard, wonderful special events throughout the year like the ReMax World Long Drive Championships for example, three top notch casinos and all the entertainment that goes along with them, two state of the art movie theaters, enough sit down and fast food restaurants to have you eating in a different location every night for more than a month, enough stores and services to provide any and all our basic living needs, quiet well kept streets with clean air surrounded by spectacular scenery are just some of the things that led my wife and I to settle here permanently. These are also the things that will attract others to the area. You can bet, when the population is sufficient to support something like a Costco, the big box and the strip-mall chains will be falling over themselves to build here. Then we will be indistinguishable from places like Ukiah CA or St. George UT with one important exception. Our infrastructure will be ready for the growth. In the meantime let’s enjoy what we have here, it practically sells itself.

    Just for the record, I think navigating the streets of Mesquite is quite functional and pleasant just as they are.

    • cl_rand All the things you have listed sound beautiful for a retiree. However, Mesquite needs to quit putting all there money in retirement communities, casinos and golf courses. It’s time to branch out more. Let’s remember that families live here all year round. I’m all for keeping Mesquite beautiful however I was born and raised in this town and would like to see things done differently. I get the impression your part of the group that would like to keep Mesquite small as long as possible claiming that it’s for the good of the infrastructure. This small town ideology has been going on for too long and I am finally glad to see people question it. Mesquite stay true to the American spirit of capitalism and continue growing. Instead of hindering growth let’s put our energy in working together and keep the compromises fair and balanced 😉

      • I completely agree Lewis. If I gave the impression I wanted Mesquite to stay small it was unintentional because I believe planned growth is Mesquites best hope for the future. That’s the reason I wrote letters to Mayor Litman and every city Counsel member last year, when the issue of medical marijuana was being discussed, encouraging them to vote yes on the issue. Deep Roots Medical will be a great addition to Mesquites future growth. Another reason we decided to make Mesquite our year round home was all the infrastructure that we saw put in place prior to the recession. That clearly signifies a city with big plans for the future and we plan on being here to witness it.

        My point concerning Mr. Baker’s letter was simply that it’s folly to expect a Costco or Target to roll into town until there are enough people living here to support it. I believe those types of enterprises will operate in Mesquite but we must capitalize on the assets we currently have in place and continue attracting full time residents to the community. Wherever people congregate, business and jobs follow and that’s good for all of us.

        For the record, I’m pretty sure you don’t have to be retired to enjoy spectacular scenery, clean air, eating out, watching a movie, special events, riding ATV’s, hiking, golf or well kept neighborhoods. Shucks, I’ve enjoyed all of those things my entire life. ;- )

    • cl_rand: you must live in a different Mesquite than we spend time in.
      Just trying to pull in and out of Walgreens is a chore. If you want to drive south, you have to navigate through a gas station. Same with pulling into Popeye’s (and then you have to turn right or drive through Walmart to escape).

      When Mesquite is full of winter people, businesses should be able to make enough money like it’s pre-Christmas for those five or six months. When we all leave, there are still families living here. They work in local business and schools.
      Notice that we TRIED to spend several hundred dollars on carpeting and couldn’t even do that here.

      Another problem is that there’s no central business area. We call it “the loop”, having to drive up and around Pioneer and then Mesquite Boulevard. Vast empty areas and then businesses huddled together.

      TEST, cl: get out a map and find Gypsum, Colorado. The population is approximately 1/3 of Mesquite’s. They are 112 miles from Grand Junction, 38 from Vail, 25 from Glenwood Springs.
      NONE of those towns have a Costco. BUT GYPSUM DOES. Why? Because they are along busy I-70.
      Mesquite is along busy I-15.

      People travel many miles to visit a Costco or an outlet center.
      Life is not all water-sucking golf courses or casinos (which are a dime a dozen across the USA now).

      • Yes Kris, perhaps I do live in a different Mesquite than you are visiting, however, if navigating your way in and out of Walgreens and Popeye’s is giving you fits I highly suggest you stay out of St. George altogether. Layton too for that matter; talk about urban sprawl.

        Anyway, I believe the answer to your Costco test lies within the information you yourself have provided. Nobody is driving past a Costco in Glenwood Springs, Vail or Grand Junction along I-70 to get to the one in Gypsum because NONE OF THOSE TOWNS HAVE ONE. Who do you suppose would be driving past the Costco in St. George or the Costco in Las Vegas to get to Mesquite’s Costco?

        If there is one thing Mesquite residents can boast about it’s fairly easy access to it’s all the shopping, dining and entertainment you can name within an hours drive in either direction. When I want world class entertainment, downtown Las Vegas is an hour and ten minutes from my driveway. If I’m hankering for a chain store and a traffic jam St. George is only forty minutes away unless I take the much more leisurely route, through Beaver Dam and the Shivwits reservation, which takes about about an hour. Meanwhile, I have the luxury of living in a laid back resort town that people come from all over the world to stay and play in.

        Of course it’s facetious to suggest that you and I are talking about two different places when we talk about Mesquites Kris. We’re simply experiencing Mesquite in two different ways because we’re looking for it to be two different things I’m guessing. Nothing wrong with that and I do hope that when Mesquite does grow, as it certainly must, you will find it more to your liking. I just like living here right now.

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