Why can’t we have this in Maysville?

Rod Baker
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When my wife and I travel with our friends Jeff and Cyndi, this is a common question that we find ourselves asking each other…Why can’t we have this in Maysville?

From a rooftop bar to outdoor seating, fire pits and walking paths, food trucks to quaint gathering spots, having an environment that’s welcoming and encourages people to stay around isn’t a pipe dream. Building a vibrant downtown can happen and is within our grasp if WE are willing to change. The “same ole, same ole” just won’t cut it if this is what we really desire.

Vincent Van Gogh said, “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” If we start small and work with a vision, isn’t it possible that we can have these things in Maysville? I believe it’s possible and so do many others. In fact, next weekend there are several businesses who have put their stake in the ground and said, “It is possible”.

It all started as an idea hatched by Economic Development Executive Director Owen McNeill, Tourism Director Lacey Holleran, and Main Street Director Caroline Reece, along with several of the downtown businesses called “Live Local”. This is a collective effort to have people re-discover downtown Maysville and support the local businesses within the downtown corridor. The Ledger Independent and WFTM agreed to jump in and help support the effort and get the word out. They’ll have extended hours, shopping, eats, music, and art. What’s not to like about that?

In a recent blog article I read in “Revitalize, or Die”, Jeff Siegler writes, “We understand how important having a healthy downtown is to a community, in fact, there is little I believe holds more importance than fostering healthy and vibrant downtowns. The statistics support this conclusion as well. When a community has a healthy core, property values stabilize and increase, people experience a greater quality of life, additional money is retained in the local economy, tourism increases, the best and brightest don’t feel compelled to leave and people experience an elevated sense of civic pride. These are just a few of the benefits of successful revitalization efforts.” Hello…stabilized and increased property values, greater quality of life, money retained in our local economy, tourism, keeping our best and brightest, and an elevated sense of civic pride. Can I get an AMEN?

I know, there are many among us that long for the “good ole days”, however those days are behind us and we can only impact what lies in front of us. You have a chance to do that, even if it’s only with a small effort. Remember, what Vincent Van Gogh said? Yes, in the words of my friend Owen McNeill, “Big things are happening in Maysville!” And, if you’re like me and you yearn for what’s possible, you can help that effort by taking some time next weekend and come downtown. I promise you won’t be disappointed by what you’ll find and if you can’t make it then, then you’ll have another chance in November and December on the second weekend of each of those months when we’ll do it all over again.

The small steps that you and I will take today in support of these efforts will have a significant impact on helping to foster more opportunities for growth in the future. I suppose that’s why I have such a strong belief that we can have this in Maysville…do you?

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Rod Baker