Heart of the matter
Every community has one. A core.
Some place that symbolizes what
a town is all about. Invariably said
center is it's downtown. Just think
about it. The first time you ride into
any town you follow the signs to it's
"business center". Said thoroughfare
quickly gives one an indication of
whether the patient is stable, growing,
or terminal. Hence the importance to
make sure that your local epicenter is
alive and well. Otherwise opportunity
may just drive through and move on.
The way we were
Here in Lewistown most locals cherish
memories of what once was. In days of
yore row upon row of stores and shops
once lined our primary thoroughfare.
However like almost every community
in the United States, ours has changed
over the years. Many of the chain stores
whose signs once hung downtown are
no longer in business. In their place,
big box retailers have slowly snuffed
out of Mom and Pop shops. It's not our
problem alone. Walk down Great Falls
or Billings downtown drags and see.
Having spent much of my career selling
people things they don't really need for
money they may or may not have, retail
has only gotten more challenging. And
while there may seem to be millions of
reasons why you can buy whatever you
want outside of our city limits, theres
one reason you should shop local. It's
simply that without a vibrant downtown
we're... NOTHING. Don't get me wrong,
I agree that said statement is dramatic.
But the fact is that without such a place
to gather, we'd have no heart, no soul.
That's why I recently got involved with
the Lewistown Downtown Association.
Said group has one and only purpose
and that it to support, promote, and
improve the core of who we are as a
community. Naysayers aside, we've
got many successful businesses in our
core commercial district. Most "gaps"
aren't due to a lack of opportunity but
rather other circumstances. But that
doesn't mean we all shouldn't do our
part. In fact, if you love Lewistown,
now is the time to open your heart.
Last Saturday The Lewistown News-
Argus published a recap of key events
of 2015. All one had to do was read
the facts to realize that our still small
community is on the upswing. Last
Sunday Century Construction held
an open house at their new state-of-
the-art facility. Over the last year
several other local businesses have
also expanded. Such growth requires
an influx of new and young talent to
fuel their success. All the reason to
nurture and maintain our downtown.
During these dark and dreary post holiday
months we all could use a shot in the arm.
That's why The Lewistown Downtown
Association decided to find a way to share
the love. On Saturday, February 13th, 2016
we're throwing the Valentine's party to end
all parties. Rather than sit at home on the
couch, this is your opportunity to dress up
and strut your stuff with the one you love.
More important, there's no better way to
demonstrate your support of our downtown
than to share the love here in the heart of
Montana. Better known as Lewistown.
Share the love
Everybody loves somebody. If for no
other reason Valentine's Day exists to
remind us of how lucky we are to be
able to share our lives with others. As
a lead up to the big event ALL of our
downtown merchants will be offering
some way to share the love. Whether
that's a new outfit, gun, tires, or a big
piece of jewelry is up to you. Over the
next weeks they'll be ramping up ways
to help make sure you're ready for the
big event. So that by the thirteenth we
can all celebrate love at the Yogo Inn.
A night to remember
This is not your ordinary event. The
Paint The Town Red Gala is going to
be the night of nights. One of the few
evenings in Lewistown where black
tie is optional but cocktail fabulous
is mandatory. The Sapphire Room
will be transformed into the ultimate
love nest. Everyone will dine, drink,
and dance to their hearts content. And
we've reserved the newly redone best
rooms in the house for those who want
to spend the night. However partying
is not the reason to attend. LOVE IS.
Hunk of burning love
I'm going to be honest with you, this
event isn't going to fill the Lewistown
Downtown Association coffers. The
purpose of this gala is to reacquaint
our community with all that Main
Street has to offer. And yes, stimulate
some business activity during one of
the bleaker times of the year. Yet in
the end it's all about being proud of
where we live and celebrating the
symbolic heart of our community.
So please join us for what is certain
to be a night to remember. Love you!