Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Reminders of Ogden City's Rip-roaring Past

How about a recreation business model that caters to every appetite?

Fantastic Salt Lake Tribune story this morning, focusing on the street scene on Two-bit Street during what some locals would characterise as Ogden's "Golden Era." While some folks in Ogden (not us) would like to forget the past, stalwart writers like Eileen Hallet Stone won't let Ogden's "rip-roaring past" easily slip from the public consciousness:
Ogden tunnels a reminder of rip-roaring past
As Ogden City propels itself full-tilt in its quest to become a high adventure recreation capitol, perhaps it would be wise to re-examine an Ogden recreation business model that actually worked... a business model geared toward high adventure recreation for grownups. Food for thought, we think for those who envision Ogden City as the next Provo, (if you know what we mean and we think you do.)

17 comments:

Curmudgeon said...

It was a fascinating article... and why isn't anyone offering walking tours of Ogden's colorful past, including basement visits to historic remnants? "Underground Seattle" seems to be doing pretty well. Certainly there would be handy on the Ogden tour opportunities for refreshment along the way, should the tourees become thirsty. Might be run out of Union Station by docents, as part of their Historic Ogden emphasis. At least for openers.

But, Rudi, the choice for Ogden doesn't have to be either high adventure outdoor emphasis or Two-Bit Street's past as present. It can be, and I think ought to be, both. Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks works as a marketing strategy too.

Bill C. said...

Curm, you continue to blindly overlook the fact that there is no high adventure outdoor recreation in Ogden. Despite your ardent support of lying little matty's irresponsible spending to promote such corniness.
I ask 2 things of you my friend, point out any high adventure outdoor recreation in Ogden and also any success that may have come from lying little matty's indebting the City over $ 100 million towards that end.
Jeeze, sometimes I wonder if you're not lying little matty's lead appologist.

Bill C. said...

Oh, and Curm, it looks like the Eagle Forum is getting cocky since it's latest election vitories.
Your favorite legislator Buttars is introducing a resolution to require merchandizers to specifically use Christmas instead of the more generic term holiday, because this is a Christian Nation, and it needs to flaunted.

Curmudgeon said...

Bill:

Yes, Bill, even I noticed there is no skiing in Ogden. Or much climbing, etc. The goal of the city seems clearly to sell Ogden as a base from which skiing, climbing, hiking, mountain biking, para-sailing and such like are easily accessible. Not that you can enjoy all of them in city bounds. You can't ski in SLC either, but it is a major skiing destination city none the less.

Bill C. said...

Curm, do we have the amenities that can be had in Salt Lake to justify jumping into direct compitition in that ski arena? Hotels, airport, much larger variety of resorts to choose from, and other big entertainment options for evening?
Face it Curm, we gladly accept any tourist that comes, and we all like what we have here but, it's foolish to throw all this money in a direction that could never possibly return it, and quite frankly doesn't do any good for the majority of our residents.
Childhood fantasy and carnival rides are not the foundation of good governance, even in the land of OZ.

Ogden fan said...

I would gladly pay for a tour of underground Ogden. When I visited Seattle, that was one of the first things I did, take a tour of the Seattle underground.

ozboy said...

I think a natural biz opportunity exists right under the little lord's nose and he can't even see it! He could very easily bring in huge dollars to the city and tie into our "colorful" past by turning city hall into one large cat house staffed by all the whores he has surrounded himself with. The tax payers of Ogden are already paying millions to these slugs through big salaries and perks. We might as well get some return on our investment.

Curmudgeon said...

Bill:

Ogden has some potential advantages that I think the city is trying to play on to be come a destination for more tourists. Lower prices for one thing. A historic street that SLC does not have. Smaller size, less congestion, and easy access to a variety of activities from the city, without having to drive through and out of SLC. There are people, Bill, who would prefer to stay in a smaller place than SLC for their recreational travel. So, Bill, I think there are some possibilities in marketing Ogden as Base Camp Ogden: It's All Within Reach. Again, I wouldn't make that the total and only campaign, as noted above. But I wouldn't dismiss it as nonsense either. [That was, by the way, the general point of the WaPo article I thought.]

Curmudgeon said...

Bill C:

In re: Buttars. Here's what I posted regarding that in the SE comments on line:

The state is in a deepening budget shortfall. Losing jobs. Housing market declining. Legislative ethics problems still making headlines. All kinds of problems in several directions. And what does the Eagle Forum's very own pet senator want our elected representatives to spend their time on? A non-binding resolution encouraging people in commerce to say "Merry Christmas."

My Democrats can't allow themselves to be out flanked on this front. I hereby demand that the leader of the Dem caucus in the Senate introduce a non-binding Senate resolution encouraging people to be nice to their mommas. Surely everyone will understand why ethics reform, the budget shortfall, education matters, and other trivia will have to take a back seat until we get the non-binding "Merry Christmas" and "Be Nice To Your Momma" resolutions taken care of. It's a question of priorities.

Bill C. said...

Curm, now that you have minimalized the objective by acknowleging that there may be a small niche market for Ogden to cater to, I would like your response to my original question.
How can anyone justify the amount of spending to achieve such ho-hum possible return on the investment?
I would also add that now that you've defined the subject in such minimal terms; Shouldn't that be the purvey of say, the chamber of commerce, or the visitors information folks? Not the only focus and priority of the whole City government, and a reason for creating a mountain of debt and blueprint for the future of the City? I should think a used, freshly painted ferris wheel would accomplish pretty much the same, quaint.

Bill C. said...

Oh and Curm, nice reponse to the ever embarrassing Buttars. Rudi, where do you get these guys?

Curmudgeon said...

Bill:

Well, first of all, I don't think I minimized anything. If over time they can establish Ogden as a successful four season destination [or base camp]for outdoors recreational tourism, it will matter a great deal to the local economy.

And secondly, asking at this point about minimal returns is way too soon to draw any conclusions. This thing has to run a while before it can be fully and fairly assessed. The good ink in the WaPo you don't seem to dismiss as paid hoopla in a marginal publication [as you dismissed all other good ink over the past two years, including NY Times stories], so could be the campaign is getting some traction.

It's a little like the Junction project, Bill, and the prior downtown Mall. The Mayor and Gaggle could do a lot of whoopin' an' hollerin' at the launch, and point to a nearly fully leased [via deposit money put down] Earnshaw Condo building, and restaurants tumbling over themselves to locate down there... remember McCool's Public House? But that was no more a guarantee of long term success than the whoopin' an' hollerin' among Godfrey opponents as trouble spots began to emerge, and Ogden discovered that it was part of the national economy. It will be a few years yet before anyone can make some kind of long-term judgment about the success or failure of the project overall. Same with a long-range marketing program for Ogden City. May turn out a decade from now looking back that you were right and it was all for naught. May turn out you weren't. And it certainly is worth staying on top of Hizzonah's damn foolish plans to pave over the public bench lands and sell them to real estate developers to build flatland gondolas for the touristas. But we're not going to know for sure for a while, Bill, how some of his other initiatives will end up.

Sometimes, you just have to be patient to see how things work out. Annoying, I know, but there it is.

ozboy said...

Mr. Curmudgeon

I don't think it will take any where near a "few years" to tell if the Junktion, or any of the other Godfreyite fiasco's, are successful. If the current cash drain continues the city will be bankrupt a lot sooner than that. By any reasonable measure the place is already a failure and is being highly subsidized by the poor tax payers of Ogden. In fact almost every single project the Lil' Lord has touched has failed or soon will.
When the final sorry chapter of the Godfreyite saga is written, I believe the punk will go down as the most incompetent city official in Utah history. Hey, he may very well even be a national contender for the title.

Curmudgeon said...

Oz:

Entirely possible, Oz, that Hizzonah will take that prize looking back. But recall it took a while, a long while, for it to become clear the old downtown Mall was a flub. Just think it's probably a bad idea to jump early to final conclusions about The Junction. Let it play out. [As if we had at this point any choice.] Signs are not good, I agree. But hey, who knows? Maybe mysterious European Investors [rumored to be in constant contact with Hizzonah] will pony up $50 million to build Ogden a flatland gondola for Paris Hilton to ride from Fat Cats to Hoagi Yogi at the WSU Union for lunch with her glitterati friends after an exciting later morning of indoor glow-in-the-dark putt-putt golf and we'll all get rich.

Anonymous said...

But hasn't the Earnshaw building been under construction for like...2 years now? Are we really supposed to believe that people put money down on such high priced condos and are going to wait that long in a falling and overbuilt market? Something smells......

Merle said...

Anon

Mr Godfrey and his circle of friends are all liars, pretenders and scammers. The sad part is that some of them are signers on the city checking account.

ozboy said...

Mr. Curmudgeon

Well this thread is pretty old now, perhaps we are the only two left looking at it?

I would like to point out that the "old mall" was not a "flub" for the first ten or fifteen years of its life. In fact it was quite successful for a long time.

What killed the old mall was the increasing crime in the immediate area including rapes, muggings and assaults of mall customers. That as well as new competition from a growing Newgate mall and the mall in Layton. The parking structure at the old mall was very problematic as it was dark, spooky and very un-inviting to park in. It was a real mystery why the Lil' Lord kept it and tore down the mall instead of vise-a-versa. More Godfreyesque business genius I guess. I think the old mall might have continued to be successful had the powers that be in Ogden government kept the crime in down town under better control.

The real tragedy, in my mind, with the old mall is that they tore down two square blocks of fabulous 1800's store fronts to build it. If down town Ogden still had that two block stretch of historic buildings the citizens would have a national treasure instead of a pile of problematic trash at the new junktion.

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