Letter: Our Wonderful Town

Dear Editor:

It is hunting season. The only real time of potential profit for many in Meeker until such time as reality sets in concerning the viability of our town’s continuing existence. Until that point, businesses need to recognize the need for increased personnel and services during this busy time. I have heard complaints from visitors about our lack of service at restaurants and stores. We should be striving to meet, and exceed, expectations. Lack of service due to under-staffing is foolish and detrimental to this town’s continuing existence. Everyone knows when hunters will arrive so personnel scheduling should be automatic and a planned event. What about advertising services to hunters like meat processing, availability of dry ice, outfitter info, camping spots, propane, etc. These should be readily available and easy to access for any hunter coming to Meeker. A list of resources, addresses and phone numbers should be shared with all the entities in this town. If there is a central document with all this information, it is not being distributed widely enough. Many hunters come to town ill-prepared and need our help to ensure they have a pleasant and safe experience. Maybe staying open on Sunday during hunting season should be considered. Hunters show up expecting amenities and services that are lacking. If we offer an experience that is geared toward hunters on the weekend, we will ultimately benefit. During the remainder of the year, there is little offered to entice visitors to shop, explore and enjoy our wonderful area. The occasional events like sheepdog trials and hunting season are great, but short-lived. We need to make this a destination town year-round. Why is not more emphasis put on off-road activities beyond the OHV Rendezvous? What about winter sports like snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and Nordic skiing? What about activities like bird watching, small game and fowl hunting, camping, fishing (White River is great for fishing), and similar activities in the warmer months. In addition, we have a trove of craftspeople with items to sell all year. There is a smart and resourceful bunch of people in this area with lots to offer if the right venue was presented. I love the arts and crafts fairs as well as the arts and crafts store on Main Street. Unfortunately, advertising beyond our Herald Times (and even that is minimal) is not sufficient to ensure others want to visit our community and explore all we have to offer. I want this community to thrive. Without some changes, this will never happen. How many businesses have closed in the last few years? Pride is great until it destroys the proud. Change can be good. Staying in the past will never improve life today. Improve tax incentives for small businesses as well as large ones. Welcome newcomers with open arms and smiles rather than negative attitudes. See change as growth and opportunity rather than a destruction of the way it once was. I often wish things were like they were 20 or 30 years ago, but I know that is not reality. A professor once told me that changes result in a species either changing and surviving or being stubborn and dying out. Advertise on the Internet, magazines and newspapers. Spend a few dollars and overcome local bias to improve and sustain our wonderful community. Sadly, like the dinosaurs, we must adapt or die. That is the brink on which this town now stands. I want this community to thrive. Without some changes, this will never happen. How many businesses have closed in the last few years? Pride is great until it destroys the proud. Change can be good. Staying in the past will never improve life today. In summary, increase personnel during busy times, consider changing how things have been done in the past, be willing to accept change, and look toward the future to become the community this area deserves.

Pam Thomas

Meeker