Hopping on the Walmart express
July 26, 2012
Like a big gas planet, Walmart comes with its collection of satellites. While nothing specific has been announced, we know that where Walmart goes, retail remora tend to be attached near its mouth.
We know that when the Walmarts opened at Topsy Lane and in north Carson, they brought with them Chili’s and some sort of fast food. The north Carson Chili’s didn’t last long, so we’ll see if that chain learned its lesson.
There have been some specific requests, like a Trader Joe’s, and of course the perennial Olive Garden, but both of those chains seem a little selective to drop another outlet so close to the others.
Our real concern is for the downtown businesses we’ve managed to preserve.
After the Walmart and other retail locations opened at Topsy Lane there was a migration of business out of Gardnerville and Minden.
For a while that economic engine poured money into the county coffers, but after the recession hit, Douglas sales tax collections dropped to where they were before Carson Valley and Clear Creek plazas opened.
The new Walmart in Gardnerville won’t move the business quite so far, but it has already had an effect in the southern portion of the town.
We anticipate another burst of business activity, and hope it will coincide with economic recovery. But that’s an extremely optimistic reading of the tea leaves. The other reading is that we’ll end up with a bunch of muck at the bottom of our cup.