by Leanna Lehman -- Main Street America, a national organization that promotes local communities has come to Nevada. Kathy La Plante, Senior Program Officer at Main Street America, spoke last week in Fallon at the Rural Roundup, the statewide tourism conference held every year by Travel Nevada, the Nevada Division of Tourism office. “Main Street is mainstream and main streets are coming back,” said La Plante. “Malls are dying and people are looking for authentic, dynamic experiences that real downtowns provide.” Several communities in Nevada have come on board to support this program run through the Governor’s Office on Economic Development. The ideas is to focus on the power of local Main Streets to revive local economies, bring communities together, and forge the future for cities and towns across the country. Gardnerville, Lovelock, and Fallon each focus on their main streets as an economic development tool. Fallon’s own Downtown Merchants Association works with the Fallon Chamber and Churchill Economic Development Authority to continually strengthen small business. Fallon is among the ranks of small towns nationwide that are working together toward preservation-based downtown economic development and revitalization. According to La Plante, for every dollar of investment in downtown, there is a $30 return. And when it comes to local business, for every dollar spent locally, .65 cents stays in the community. Although downtowns are back in style, revitalization is not easy or inexpensive. While the payoff is sizable “there is no quick fix for anyone’s downtown,” says LaPlante. There must be an investment in design, organization, and a unified effort to promote local economic vitality. Several things can draw visitors in or make them curious enough stop as they travel through town; eye-catching welcome signs, public art displays, and one-of-a-kind events like the annual Fondue Fest held in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin that draws in over 20,000 visitors annually. La Plante also mentioned the Hearts of Gold Cantaloupe Festival as one of these unique events. “Find what makes you unique,” said LaPlante, and “give people something to stop for.” Patty Herzog, the Rural and Community Development Director for GOED has been working with La Plante to implement the main street programs in Nevada. La Plante said that Herzog and her team have been traveling around the state offering training for downtown efforts and has access to financial resources. Thanks to the long-standing efforts of Mayor Ken Tedford and the City of Fallon, the Fallon downtown is alight with blooming trees strung with white sparking lights, vintage style lampposts, and a fountain that runs different colors depending on the current community event. Fallon has a unique community feel that welcomes visitors to historic downtown while fostering tremendous community support and engagement. Maine Street offers a growing diversity of local businesses as the iconic Fallon Theater, the Nugget, and Heck’s Meats meld with the new additions; Jo’s Stillwater Tearoom, Shine Salon, The Wok, and the newly opened Cranberry Cottage – along with many other charming small businesses. With the Main Street Movement in full swing, downtown Fallon is prime real estate for new, local businesses to thrive. Never miss the local news -- read more on The Fallon Post home page. If you like what we’re doing, please support our effort to provide local, independent news and contribute to The Fallon Post, your online news source for all things Fallon.
Maine Street Fallon Blossoms
- 2019-04-15, 06:07 AM