Saturday, December 26, 2009

Post Holiday Emerald City News Roundup

Another Wal-mart Supercenter milestone; and a chance to take another shot at a loyal Boss Godfrey lemming

In the aftermath of "the world's most popular holiday", we'll attempt to get back in gear, with a short Emerald City news roundup this morning. Although northern Utah news sources aren't exactly brimming with nutritious red meat news this a.m., there's still enough to at least kickstart a reader discussion, we think:

1) Mainly for archival purposes, we'll make note of yesterday's Standard-Examiner story, which reports that "a drainage issue has been resolved, enabling work to resume on a planned 147,000-square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter at 20th Street and Wall Avenue":
Drainage issue cleared for Wal-Mart project
This project has of course been "on" and then "on hold" for more times than we can count; and we thus suppose it will be a great relief to finally get Wal-mart onto the city tax rolls sometime in early 2011, we guess, assuming it moves forward smoothly from here.

Of course Boss Godfrey says the arrival of his long-awaited downtown Wal-mart spells nothing but good for the city economy:
The supercenter is expected to draw a large volume of customers and should increase business traffic for other stores downtown, Godfrey said.
"It's good for merchants in the area," he said
Whether this is true we do not know; but we will submit that Godfrey's general assertion that Wal-mart Supercenters are "good" for neighboring businesses does remain a matter of some considerable public debate.

So what say our gentle readers? Will Boss Godfrey's soon-to-be coming Wal-mart Supercenter spur a wave of economic growth in in our downtown area and be a boon to existing businesses? Notwithstanding the fact that Boss Godfrey's long history of economic development pratfalls, we must remember that "even a blind squirrel finds an acorn now and then," (according to the old folk ax).

Or will this mega-marketing goliath leave a slew of boarded-up smaller existing businesses in its wake?

2) For those who'd like to take another shot at Godfrey sychophant Rich Combe, whose 12/16/09 letter to the editor provoked a fair amount of reader discussion here on Weber County Forum on the same date, we're pleased to observe that Mr. Combe's pay-to-play mini-opus made the Standard-Examiner hard copy edition this morning:
Godfrey's contributors wanted success in Ogden
We therefore happily give it a brief reprise, for those readers who'd like to take another bite of the apple, and offer further comment in the SE and/or WCF reader comments sections. Feel free to take another shot... if you don't believe we've already beaten the topic to death.

That's it for now folks.

Who will be the first to break the post-holiday comment ice?


Curmudgeon said...

The story reports that the impasse between Wal-Mart and the Lesham Group that stopped construction for two months on the downtown Wal-Mart has been resolved, and construction will begin again shortly. The delay means construction will not be complete until "early 2011." [Earlier completion times, I think, had the store operating by Christmas of 20010.]

And what exactly was the dispute that held up construction? Here's the Mayor's version:

"Wal-Mart and Leshem have resolved differences regarding design of the drainage system to address aesthetics and functionality, said Mayor Matthew Godfrey."

The Mayor also insisted again that Wal-Mart will be good for existing businesses in downtown Ogden because it will bring more customers to the area. I would be very interested to know if the Mayor has any data to back that prediction up, since most of what I've read suggests the opposite, that the coming of a Wal-Mart tends to shutter local businesses rather than bring more custom to them.

The story too has some interesting detail on construction methods like reusing old concrete waste from the existing site, and more. Worth a read.

Monotreme said...

I can't help but wonder if the $1M the US taxpayers paid in Recovery Act funds to refurbish the Ogden River actually went to help construct drainage from the Mall Wart parking lot to the Ogden River.

Anonymous said...

No one needs a WalMart; the last thing this county needs is the karmic debt of foreign sweatshop labor, sexist hiring practices, employee apathy and poor customer service, big-store blight, and the trailer park mentality that inevitably follow Walmart around the country.

There are a thousand and one ways to balance the city budget; bringing in a giant eyesore is not on the list.

Godfrey Sucks said...

Walmart sucks. Bringing in this big fish predator into Ogden is one of Godfrey's worst blunders. Watch all of Wal-mart's competitors go belly-up.

Flunked English said...

WalMart does damage many local merchants.

What is not so obvious is how it will compete with another local business, in this case Wiseguys Comedy Club.


Happy Holidays

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