Eagle River Station is wrong for Eagle
Eagle, CO, Colorado
Eagle still has the chance to make the right decision and choose to invest in our existing, pedestrian friendly, locally owned downtown core. Why, with the information that we have access to today, would we choose to invest in an impersonal, homogeneous, corporate, auto-dependent asphalt behemoth by the highway?
So many towns in the United States were sold this bill of goods during the 1980s, and most of them have now seen the error in their ways ” gutting their existing, centrally located downtown cores to establish oversized, cookie-cutter strip malls devoid of character that siphon their community’s capital to distant corporate headquarters.
Instead of business owners, you get hourly managers. Instead of individual service and product knowledge, you get under-paid hourly staff with a turnover rate that precludes them from knowing anything about the products they are selling or who you are.
Instead of following in the footsteps of countless other U.S. towns that have made this mistake, Eagle could look to success stories, towns that have refused to cave to the Wal-Marts and Targets and have instead invested in in-fill of their existing business districts. It seems almost counter-intuitive to invest the money that Eagle has into the Broadway streetscape renovations and then offer massive tax incentives to faceless corporate chains that will soon put these locally owned stores out of business or severely reduce their revenues.
Why not continue what we’ve started by gradually rezoning the streets that parallel and intersect Broadway to allow mixed-use commercial. There is even the potential to develop the contiguous riverfront in a sensitive way to allow community access and light commercial ” restaurants, retail, etc.
The last thing we need is the decades-old concept of the auto-dependent, corporate strip mall to blight our community and suck the remaining small-town character out of Eagle.
Please let our Town Board know that you support an alternative vision for Eagle ” a vibrant, locally owned, centrally located business core centered around Broadway, Highway 6, and the riverfront.
Not only will this model retain more of our dollars in our community, it will also draw visitors and investment. Don’t throw away the uniqueness that Eagle still possesses on the gamble of possible increased short-term revenue from the type of project that most of America already knows better about.