SPOTLIGHT: Community seeking downtown success

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VIRDEN — Those directly linked with the Virden business community have their own ideas as to how Virden might revitalize its downtown, but they’ll need to develop a broad base of support to find success in these plans.

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This article was published 26/10/2017 (1798 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

VIRDEN — Those directly linked with the Virden business community have their own ideas as to how Virden might revitalize its downtown, but they’ll need to develop a broad base of support to find success in these plans.

The most common consensus among those randomly polled in downtown Virden on Tuesday was that they needed a better reason to visit the area.

Norm Pappel said that he’d like to see more retail spaces move into the town’s downtown area, rather than the ongoing trend of office spaces opening up, which aren’t exactly a big public draw.

Another respondent, who declined to use their name, said that there needed to be more reasons for young people to visit downtown.

Consultant Jim Mountain, from National Trust Revitalization, is in Virden this week gathering insights from members of the community as to how the town’s downtown might better flourish.

Following a presentation at the junior high school on Tuesday, he said that youths shared a similar sentiment as the unnamed downtown respondent, in that they’d need more to do in the town’s downtown if they’re expected to go there.

One specific recommendation was the installation of a skate park.

Other respondents echoed the concerns shared by a number of business owners; that the cost of doing business was too high and there needed to be some form of financial incentive for setting up shop downtown.

Several respondents also pointed to the charred remains of a few downtown business fronts that burned down last month on Seventh Street as being something they wanted to see replaced as soon as possible.

Ultimately, it’ll be up to the community to support local business owners, Marilyn Warkentin said, adding; “Perhaps people of Virden need to support local stores to give them the confidence to bring new businesses to downtown.”

» tclarke@brandonsun.com

» Twitter: @TylerClarkeMB

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