To the Editor,
Is anyone listening?
I read with interest your editorial today condemning the efforts of the City of Mount Airy, the Main Street Program and the local business owners that are trying to promote our town.
I’m writing this with two hats on. One is a local Realtor for the last 23 years. As a Realtor, we give tours. We cannot sell a house to someone coming to the area until we sell the area.
This Saturday I spent the majority of the day with a client that is looking to come to Mount Airy, restore one of our old buildings in the downtown area and bring a business here. We had trouble getting into town due to the Farmfest. Was that an issue? No, it helped sell the town. They saw the fiddles. They saw little kids on tiny trains. They saw the plants hanging from the poles. They saw the buildings being remodeled. They parked in one of our newer parking lots.
I was provided a list of possible buildings by Lizzie Morrison. She is the Main Street coordinator and she is my daughter. Gene Rees took time out of his day to walk us around to not only his buildings, but others that may or may not work for them.
Joe and Sharon Reid rolled out the welcome wagon. They went into the Renfro Lofts to see what could happen to a building in disrepair. They saw the amphitheater. They met Gerald Daniels, our police officer on a bike. They saw where the new minipark would be. We talked about the greenways. They saw the Spencers building in it’s dilapidated state. BUT, they also saw the direction this town is heading. They are coming back.
We have hands-down beat any town we were competing with. Why? We invest. We invest in our town. The people of Mount Airy believe in Mount Airy. My hat goes off to our commissioners who had the foresight to realize that the Spencers building was vital to protecting our town. Did they do it quietly – yes and thank goodness they had the insight to make this happen. If they did not – what would have happened?
Does our local government have their hands in our business? Are they involved with local leaders of the community? Well let’s hope so. My client was so impressed that our local government is working together with local leaders for the best interest of our town.
You have to wonder what would happen if they chose to ignore. Drive to the beach. On your way, notice the towns that have closed shops. It’s obvious. I’m proud that our town in the midst of improving has found a way to lower the tax rate.
You ask if anyone is listening? Seriously? You have to ask? There is a new generation moving to this town. That does not happen in a dying town. It’s not just the young. Look at the mini park donation. Does that not tell you something? The downtown is alive. Go embrace the music. Go walk the greenways. Get a hug from your local police officer on a bike. Go to the winery downtown. Go take Uke lessons at night. Go dance at the amphitheater. Go eat some blackened scallops from Trios. Go take yoga lessons. Go embrace Mount Airy.
I can hardly wait to see what will become of the Spencers Plant. I thank heavens it is in the hands of commissioners and citizens who care about our town and who have a vested interest. I’m proud of my daughter who believes in the town. I’m proud of downtown merchants who take pride in their town. They make my job as a Realtor trying to sell this town to others a piece of cake. I wish the editors would now listen and open their eyes. Mount Airy is a shining example of a progressive town.