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Posted by: thepinetree on 04/09/2008 12:18 AM Updated by: Kim_Hamilton on 04/09/2008 08:31 AM
Expires: 01/01/2013 12:00 AM

It Was Another Packed House for Economic Development Discussion in Angels Camp with Full Video~By John Hamilton

Angels Camp, CA...The City of Angels hosted a presentation on Retail Economic Development to a packed house on Tuesday afternoon at the Angels Camp Fire House. The meeting lasted about two hours. Amy Wetzel with the Buxton Company made a presentation onvarious economic development strategies, ranging from small retailers to more traditional approaches with national chains. The Buxton Company is one of the largest retail placement and location scouting companies in the nation. They help companies pick locations and they also help communities and locations attract retailers. After the presentation the discussion really opened up with members of the public, Angels Camp City Council...

Calaveras County Board of Supervisors, Diane Gray from the Calaveras County Chamber of Commerce and business people including Mike Fullaway from Calaveras Lumber, Bob Middleton from Middletons, Steve Fairchild from Underground Adventures, Steve Hayward from State Farm, Scott Bur from Stark Realty, Nancy Whittle from Vintage Realty and numerous retailers, real estate professionals, financial services, contractors, members of the planning department from Calaveras County and more engaged in a lively debate on the direction of retail and commerce in the area.

One gets a sense when attending these meetings that a large section of the business community is really ready and waiting for good, well thought out direction on the economic future of our area. Supervisor Steve Wilensky led several minutes of discussion on what the affects of growth in Amador County have been and what we can do to plan for successes and hopefully eliminate some of their mistakes.

Sutter Creek was used as a good model with a good identity strategy and core business group. This was contrasted with some of the problems downtown Jackson has encountered in dealing with the shift in retail center of gravity to the Martell developments.

Sutter Creek has faired much better even though Sutter Creek and Jackson are very similar in distance from the large format retailers. As one participant mentioned while Sutter Creek was planning The Jackson retailers were squabbling over parking meters and other issues that in hindsight had no significant impact on the long term future of the shopping core.

Most of segments of the community seem genuinely enthused about our potential future. Most also are upbeat in hoping Angels Camp can strike a balance in promoting and protecting historic downtown and allowing a good mix of traditional businesses growth in the proximity of the Hwy 49/Hwy 4 interchange.

There was also quite a bit of discussion on the marketing area as a whole and not just Angels Camp where the businesses would most likely be located in but their customers would be from the entire surrounding area.

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