Mayor Ron Harding
Yelm Mayor Ron Harding said in the NVN of Yelm’s landmark Arnold’s Country Inn Restaurant closing,
‘I dont know all the reasons around Ricks decisions to close, but I think the local economy is going quite well.’
Harding speculated that the restaurant catered to a specific group of diners, who perhaps no longer have the discretionary income to spend on upscale meals.”
Mr. Mayor, with the national economic downturn and the Thurston County deficit announced last week, if Yelm patrons “perhaps no longer have the discretionary income to spend on upscale meals”, that should be of concern to city officials, who will feel the tax revenue loss in the coffers, rather than such a casual dismissal of Arnold’s closure.
Yelm now has its two long-time, full service restaurants closed (Arnold’s & Annie’s Bistro/Two Friends’ Cafe)
and a convenience store (at 93rd). Even the NVN says the closing of Arnold’s involves the loss of “34 full- and part-time employees”. That’s a huge job loss for Yelm.
Further, Yelm Community blog readers have known for quite some time what The Olympian readers learned about Yelm last week
“Homebuyers look to cut commutes and fuel costs
Rural housing market could lose out to urban centers”
“South Sound homebuyers are looking for houses closer to work, to cut the high cost of commuting brought on by record fuel prices, real estate agents and their customers said Wednesday [June 18].
It’s another indication that skyrocketing fuel prices are driving major changes in the way U.S. residents live…
Laura and Craig Haff of Olympia made a similar decision, Laura Haff said.
The couple recently bought a house in Olympia after living in Steilacoom for four years.
Their first choice was to live in Yelm where they found a house for $183,000 with a really large yard.
The Haffs soon decided that Yelm, without a direct road to Fort Lewis, was too inconvenient for work and not close enough to shopping, Laura Haff said.
‘It took forever to get anywhere, and if it takes forever, that costs more gasoline,’ she said.”
This story reflects what this writer has been reporting for months —
Yelm has a perfect storm brewing as people sell their homes here to be closer to urban centers and cut their commuting costs, businesses here losing customers that would come here from as far away as Gig Harbor or Puyallup for the Drew Harvey Theater, Arnold’s Country Inn & Gordon’s to name a few, as patrons are not driving out here because of the fuel costs. These factors plus Yelm’s ambitious announced projects including a Public Library, new City Hall & new Recreation Center and County cutbacks will all come to roost here before too long.
There are signals here that things are changing, regardless of Mr. Harding’s pronouncement “the local economy is going quite well.”
THIS IS THE TIME TO SAVE FOR A RAINY DAY — NOT SPEND, SPEND, & SPEND!
STORM CLOUDS HAVE GATHERED!