• Last modified 1062 days ago (April 20, 2016)


Let the good times roll

Given discussion of late about the county’s economic challenges, people in Marion should be positively giddy about recent developments both private and public that hold promise for a bright future.

Monday’s announcement by Tammy and Jeremy Ensey that they intend to purchase and enhance operations of the Historic Elgin Hotel later this summer is but the most recent of good news on the downtown business front.

It’s been no secret that Jim and Nancy Cloutier, who made a huge investment to preserve one of Marion’s iconic treasures, have been looking for a buyer for the Elgin for a while. It’s nice to have a couple with longstanding family ties to Marion take it over, and even better that the Enseys have a vision for the Elgin that includes mutually-beneficial partnerships with other businesses.

The opening of Heather Fay’s chiropractic office gave downtown Main St. a boost, and another is on the way when MacGregor’s restaurant has its planned opening this summer.

The resulting optimism may be behind rumors of other possible downtown business developments, and while we’ve not been able to confirm any of them, it’s good for a change to hear people buzzing about possibilities for downtown, and one person’s rumor could spark ideas that turn into another person’s reality. People should be cautious not to jump to conclusions or spread false information, but there’s probably room for a little optimistic speculation. That’s part of what growth is all about.

As if all that isn’t enough good news, thanks to the persistence of city officials and partner EBH & Associates, a nearly $900,000 facelift for downtown is on the way. Denied twice, a third application for more than $700,000 from the state was approved last week. When completed in 2018, downtown Main St. between First and Fifth Sts. will sport new brick-accented sidewalks with enhanced ramps and street crossings, new street lights with old-fashioned styling, benches, landscaping, and more. Main St. east of Locust St. to Eisenhower Rd. is already slated for rejuvenating overlay, and it’s great to see tax dollars coming back to boost local development.

We all know that none of these developments are magic bullets guaranteeing future prosperity; there’s still much work to be done.

But let’s leave all that alone for the moment and take a few days to just revel in the positive, which also includes the addition of Power Track Sliding Door Systems at the industrial park. Like those who long ago flocked to Chingawassa Springs, let’s take a good, long, soothing soak in the positive waters of promise and potential, and be thankful for those who’ve invested their money, time, and talents in them. Let the good times roll, and let them keep right on coming.

— David colburn

Last modified April 20, 2016