Letter to the editor: We will be paying for stupidity
Many of us can remember when the only thing between Eureka Springs and the Missouri border was the main entrance to Holiday Island.
In the fall we had "craft fairs" and a "cook-off" which was sponsored by Tom Dees our "Developer."
When we heard him talking about a shopping center we smiled and thought "That will never happen in our day."
Real estate prices were down and we did all of our shopping with long commutes to Berryville, Rogers, Fayetteville, and Springfield.
Then it began to happen. A market came and went. Then Paul and Debbie Lux with their daughter, became residents, and re-opened the market under dedicated leadership.
A hardware store was built and another dedicated couple, Doug and Sharon Baskin, opened up an outstanding hardware.
Soon we had a mini-department store in Fred's. Then a nice service station, medical center, re-hab center, post office, and many other businesses which gave us something to brag about.
And when our friends and families came for a visit, we took pride in showing off the developer's accomplishments and soon we even had a retirement center. We found it was so convenient, but we continued to think small, "prices were a little higher than Wal-Mart."
So for major shopping we left the friendly owners and continued to patronize the places where we could save a few pennies and never considered the high cost of driving to the distant "bargain stores."
We never thought our friendly resident owners of local establishments might not always be in business.
NOW WE ARE GOING TO PAY FOR OUR STUPIDITY!
It is going to cost us convenience and loss of pride and lower real estate values.
This past weekend was the last day of business for the hardware store, and we're too late to redeem that loss.
Two of the finest people we have ever had live here, will no longer be operating our favorite convenient hardware store.
I hope we can wake up soon enough to the understanding that if we want businesses here we must patronize them, even at the expense of spending a few more dollars locally instead of spending the dollars for gasoline to go further.
We lost the service station for much the same reason. We have lost restaurant operators and other small businesses.
If we don't hear this "CLARION CALL" for changing our small thinking, we could lose a wonderful market, and other major developments.
There has been a study on the possibility of incorporation. If businesses diminish or are lost there will be no tax-base on which to consider the support needed for an incorporated community.
These businesses have brought an increase in property values, better real estate sales, new residents who are assets to the community and many other things, which when lost will take away from the pride we have had given to us in the past five years.
The developer has done an outstanding job, and we are letting him down with our lack of local patronage. We need to show more support and love and less greed if we are a genuine Holiday Island community.
In closing, I want to say that HISD has done their fair share of diminishing our community by their continuing to increase costs to residents while "empire building."
When they learn to live within their budget (income) instead of hitting residents with higher costs, the commissioners and manager can also then take pride in being a part of a community of which to be proud.
Bob and Lil Huston
Holiday Island residents