Local residents speak out on the Home Depot possibility
FRISCO – If the election on whether or not Home Depot comes to town were held tomorrow, how would you vote?That’s the question the Summit Daily News asked Frisco business owners and residents, after Tuesday night’s town council meeting. The council voted in favor of a special Dec. 13 election, when Frisco residents will be asked to vote whether or not Home Depot should be allowed to pursue town planning permission to develop the 9.4-acre parcel at the end of Lusher Court. “I’m sick of the issue,” said Justin Smith, owner of The Mountains on Main Street. “This is 2005. If a big box comes in, get over it. I have no problem with Home Depot. Either do it, or don’t – or Home Depot will say ‘see you later, we don’t want to deal with you guys any more.'” Fritz Ritter, owner of Main Street business Stout Mountain Gear, said that his would be a “no” vote.”I am tired of over-development,” said Ritter. “I’m tired of the trash and the noise.”Ritter added that, to be honest, Home Depot might actually help his business rather than hurt it. “They might have good supplies that we can use, and it might bring people to Summit County. But these other factors are more important. I don’t think Frisco needs a Home Depot.”Frisco resident Ron Bailey voiced a strong opinion for bringing Home Depot in to town. “They’ve got great prices,” he said. “I’ve been having to go to Home Depot in Evergreen for supplies. And I think it could definitely help the town with tax revenues.”Dana Johnson, also a Frisco resident, disagreed. “I don’t think we need a big-box business here,” she said. “We need to support local businesses.”Several business owners on Main Street voiced concerns that their livelihood would be negatively impacted by the retail giant opening its doors so close by. “There’s enough big business here,” said Evelyn Huth, owner of Freestyle Hair. “I know when Great Clips came in, it affected some of the smaller businesses, and they went out.”Joe Mitchell and Ann McWeeney, owners of The Plant Man & Co, voiced similar concerns. Mitchell felt that the tropical plant sector of his business would particularly be hurt by Home Depot’s proposed adjoining greenhouse.”But my opinion is not only business-related,” he added. “It’s a beautiful piece of land. I think that Home Depot will be butt-ugly there regardless of whatever architectural compliances they come up with. We’ve been here for 22 years and did fine without Home Depot.”McWeeney agreed, adding that she felt the presence of Home Depot, particularly if it could be seen from the expressway, would be a visual deterrent to visitors. “Do you want to see the same thing here in Frisco that you would see in Denver, or any other city?” she asked.As manager of the Frisco Visitors’ Center, Yvonne Kuennen is in a unique position to gauge visitors’ reactions to Frisco. “I’m torn,” she admitted, “because I’ve been using Home Depot a lot and it would be nice if I didn’t have to make that drive down to (Avon). It’s a hassle – especially when you buy, say, a bunch of carpeting and forget that one thing and have to drive all the way back.”But I don’t want to see the little businesses here get hurt. And I don’t know how much it’s gonna be hidden from the expressway,” Kuennen said. “Having a Home Depot doesn’t help, when you have a town full of history and quaintness. Any big-box store is a step away from that quaintness. “So I’d rather do that drive,” she added, “than see a Home Depot wreck the uniqueness of this town.”Keely Brown can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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