Thursday, August 25, 2011

Big Box Fall Hard

In the summer of 2006 I was working as an intern for an independent newspaper in Bolton Landing, NY, called the Lake George Mirror. I was sent on assignment to cover a story in Ticonderoga where approvals were being sought to build a Lowes that would bring jobs and tax revenue to a city normally stifled by the Adirondack Park Agency's land-use regulations that aimed at keeping the Adirondacks rural in nature (and rightfully so).

However, when I got to the public meeting, held in a school gymnasium packed with local residents and local politicians (including a state congresswoman), I expected to find townsfolk reeling with excitment. Instead, I found many were in opposition. The big box store, they said, would put smaller businesses like the family-owned Aubuchon Hardware out of business and spoil the nature of their Adirondack town.

The Lowes was approved, and a 120,000 square-foot box was erected - nearly infringing on a fragile wetland (The sign looked Adirondack-y!). But it never met its targets over the years and was among a few others in the country to abruptly announce it will be closing.

Aubuchon Hardware, on the verge of being choked out by Lowes, was suddenly given new life. This article was one of the more fullfilling I've red in recent memory. A real David vs. Goliath sucess story.

Still, that mega-box will have to be filled. A Bass Pro Shops has the popular vote.

No comments:

Post a Comment