Mountain News 

Ridgway group tells Dollar Store to stay away

RIDGWAY, Colo. - Hang the low prices, a good number of people in Ridgway don't want a Family Dollar Store. The wildly successful chain store has rights to build in Ridgway, a gateway to Telluride and other towns of the western San Juan Mountains. But 700 people have signed a petition saying "stay away."

"We all moved here because we wanted to get away from life in big cities that are full of Wal-Marts and big-box stores," said opposition leader Vicci Spencer, who organized a group called CPR, or Citizens to Preserve Ridgway.

"We like the character of our little, small town, and its aesthetics are very important to us," she told the Telluride Watch .

But is a Family Dollar Store a manifestation of urban America? Or a tradition that more closely resembles the franchise retailers found in mid-century small-town America?

Main Streets in small towns all used to have Gamble's and Coast to Coast for hardware needs, and Ben Franklin's, Duckwall's and a host of others for miscellaneous stores. Later, a chain called Gibson's arrived, being a smaller-town equivalent to the K-Marts and Targets of cities.

For that matter, plenty of small towns now have Family Dollars. You can find them in every farm town.

Citing a recent New York Times story, The Watch reports that Family Dollar stores have been thriving during the time of economic decline. The company sees its core customers as a female head of household in her mid-40s who is making less than $40,000 a year.

More affluent households are now driving the growth of the chain, which is planning 200 more stores. These more upscale households are shopping at Family Dollar to save money, wanting to preserve their affluence or worried about their continued livelihoods.


Colorado framing the terms for Olympic bid

DENVER, Colo. - Colorado politicians have begun to frame the terms under which Denver and Colorado will seek to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. They're asking for clear indication of public support and they expect the business community to step up to take leadership.

Governor John Hickenlooper, formerly the mayor of Denver, told The Denver Post there must be clear dividends for the state. He cited improved exercise programs and transportation improvements.

"It could prove to be a powerful incentive to find a solution to solving the challenge of getting up to the mountains on I-70 during the weekends," he said.

Salt Lake City and Whistler both gained substantial transportation improvements prior to hosting the Olympics in 2002 and 2010, respectively. In Salt Lake's case, it got federal funding for expansion of light rail and a substantial improvement to the interstate highways that bisect the metropolitan area.

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