Once there was a family that lived in the suburbs. Mom and Dad worked hard and enjoyed the rewards of midlife and midcareer.
The kids moved swiftly along through school, stuffing their rooms, closets and drawers with memorabilia. The family had all the latest household gadgets, and all four family members collected enough leisure time equipment to fill the garage. Four cars constantly jockeyed for limited driveway space around the storage trailer.
Years of age-appropriate toys, clothes and memories packed in boxes began filling the corners of the basement. Mom liked to garden, and Dad liked his tools, for which there was plenty of room in the backyard shed.
They took vacations and camped in tents until the RV made camping a lot easier. Enjoying the latest in high-tech equipment, they boated on lakes, floated on rivers, biked down trails and skied down hills while accumulating plastic bins full of stuff. Mom liked to cross country ski until she got snowshoes from Santa, and Dad bought two snowmobiles, for which there was room right behind the two snow blowers.
Over time, all four grandparents grew old or passed on, leaving their lifetime of possessions and collections to the family in the suburbs. Luckily, there was enough room in the attic to store a trove of treasures more than 200 years in the making.
One day, a member of the family had a frightening realization: They had accumulated a whole lot of stuff, with two, three or four of everything and a whole lot of something more.
Then I awoke in a sweat, dreaming that I was drowning. I had fallen asleep in one of two recliners while reading an article in a downtown revitalization publication that espoused the advantages small towns have when they offer two, three and four of everything. In other words, when it comes to shopping, entertainment, dining and personal services, people want options, selection, variety and plenty of choices to fit their mood and budget, and downtown Durango offers that.
The whole lot of something more comes from a unique sense of place and atmosphere felt only in authentic small towns again, Durango offers that.
So it is good news that the Central Business District has posted five consecutive month-over-month increases in sales-tax collections with June 2010 up 5.05 percent compared with June 2009. This is territory not seen since 2008, and it is a significant trend because it suggests that downtown is leading the community slowly back to economic health.
That left me wondering if its equally advantageous for people to have two, three or four of everything as I dozed off again in one of two recliners. Zzzz
The owners and employees of the many downtown retail businesses and services (more than 200) thank locals and visitors for their steady patronage through these difficult economic times.
Shopping locally matters, and the results prove that money spent here stays here. As for that family in the suburbs, it might be time for a garage sale or two, maybe three, maybe four.
email@example.com Bob Kunkel is the special-events and business coordinator for Durangos Central Business District.