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View Poll Results: Two part question - Answer each part without looking at your neighbor's paper.
Part 1 - Would you be more or less likely to visit a tourist destination if it had no chains and all local businesses? 5 14.71%
Much more likely 10 29.41%
A little more likely 6 17.65%
Wouldn't make a difference 15 44.12%
A little less likely 2 5.88%
A lot less likely 0 0%
Part 2 - In the long run, would banning national chains help or hurt a local economy? 5 14.71%
It would help a lot 3 8.82%
It would help a little 3 8.82%
It wouldn't make a difference 6 17.65%
It would hurt a little 9 26.47%
It would hurt a lot 8 23.53%
Part 3 Bonus Question - Would you rather know how to play a trombone or a french horn? 4 11.76%
Trombone 14 41.18%
French Horn 7 20.59%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 34. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-13-2013, 10:53 AM  
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Banning Chain Stores - Should A City Do It?

I was in a tourist-type town this week on business, and I have a general policy. I won't spend my money in a chain restaurant. It really annoys me for some reason to go into a resort town and see a bunch of Bubba Gump restaurants or chain steakhouses or Chili's or Starbucks. Yeah, that's why people go on vacation, so they can eat at the same restaurant that's a mile from their house.

So anyway, I generally try to support small business, and I'll always take a local restaurant over a chain if possible. To be honest, my practice isn't as good with hotels because the quality difference is often large, but I'll always go for the local restaurant if I can.

But I really wonder about the impact of chains on local communities. Whether it's a hotel or a restaurant or a Wal-Mart or a Trader Joe's, local people spend their money there and the profit immediately gets on a stagecoach out of town to corporate heaquarters.

One argument is that chains can be cheaper for the locals, and I have no doubt that Wal-Mart is cheaper than a local store. But if you consider that Wal-Mart pulls money consistently out of the community, I wonder if the community and its locals would be better off paying a little bit more and having their own businesses thrive, which gives them more money to spend.

Are there any cities that have banned national chains? How has that worked out? If I was on a city council I'd strongly consider it. And I think it goes double for a tourist-dependent town. You go on vacation to shake things up, and I wonder if tourism will decline in the long term if every tourist town eventually becomes a strip of La Quinta, Starbucks, and Applebee's.

Thoughts?
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:10 AM   #2
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I live in a town that thrives on it's tourism.

We have walmart, sonic, McDonalds. But that's it.


Everything else is fairly local.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:24 AM   #3
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Honestly, I think its one of the worst ideas I've ever heard.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:24 AM   #4
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Wal Mart is banned where I live!!!! You have to drive all the way out to Walpole for a walmart and that's too damn far for me! But I've read that Wal Mart was trying to open up a store in Roxbury, which is the hard streets, ghetto. And that's only a couple miles down the street from me.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JASONSAUTO View Post
I live in a town that thrives on it's tourism.

We have walmart, sonic, McDonalds. But that's it.


Everything else is fairly local.
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Do you know if that's a conscious decision by the city council or other decision makers, or is the town just not yet big enough to be on the chains' radar?
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:28 AM   #6
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Honestly, I think its one of the worst ideas I've ever heard.
Please elaborate.

The math seems pretty straightforward to me. Where do the profits get spent? A local business will recirculate them in town, and a chain will send them to New York or Aruba or wherever.

In tourist towns, the chains can also come in and take the best properties because they have the cash to outbid pretty much any local. One could argue that they're making the most out of the property, which is a good thing, but at the same time it makes the most desirable tourist places pretty generic. Who wants to eat at the TGIF in Times Square? Who wants to eat at Bubba Gumps in Maui? In the long run, I think the chains decrease a tourist town's ability to draw tourists.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:31 AM   #7
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I would imagine the votes already in. People have voted with their dollars by spending money in these establishments.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:32 AM   #8
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:33 AM   #9
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Let the free market decide, which it will. This is central planning even if at a local level. However, t'is their right if the citizens of that locale desire that as part of their zoning.

I didn't see any chains in historic Williamsburg but some chains in a tourist area serve a purpose. If a place is overrun with them, people will stay away, depending on the type of tourism it lures.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:34 AM   #10
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I think chain stores are in these towns for the same reason the Sonic's and McDonald's are there - to give the tourist an option of home while they're away.

Now, should they be banned? You could make a compelling argument. But most likely the town would suffer becasue people are simple enough to say "I hear Such and Such is a great getaway destination, but there just isn't any convienient places to shop if we just need a few things."

Not saying that opinion is right, just saying that's generally how people think.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bump View Post
Wal Mart is banned where I live!!!! You have to drive all the way out to Walpole for a walmart and that's too damn far for me! But I've read that Wal Mart was trying to open up a store in Roxbury, which is the hard streets, ghetto. And that's only a couple miles down the street from me.
Walpole? I grew up one town over. I never noticed you were from that area...or perhaps I did but forgot.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:34 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
Please elaborate.

The math seems pretty straightforward to me. Where do the profits get spent? A local business will recirculate them in town, and a chain will send them to New York or Aruba or wherever.

In tourist towns, the chains can also come in and take the best properties because they have the cash to outbid pretty much any local. One could argue that they're making the most out of the property, which is a good thing, but at the same time it makes the most desirable tourist places pretty generic. Who wants to eat at the TGIF in Times Square? Who wants to eat at Bubba Gumps in Maui? In the long run, I think the chains decrease a tourist town's ability to draw tourists.
Why do you want to punish firms for being successful? You are saying we need to shut down profitable businesses just because you personally find them distasteful. How do you justify that?

Who wants to eat at TGIF in Times Square? Obviously lots and lots of people do or it wouldn't be there! Let the market work.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:35 AM   #13
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Do you know if that's a conscious decision by the city council or other decision makers, or is the town just not yet big enough to be on the chains' radar?
Probably just that they would hemorrhage money in the off season.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:37 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bowser View Post
I think chain stores are in these towns for the same reason the Sonic's and McDonald's are there - to give the tourist an option of home while they're away.

Now, should they be banned? You could make a compelling argument. But most likely the town would suffer becasue people are simple enough to say "I hear Such and Such is a great getaway destination, but there just isn't any convienient places to shop if we just need a few things."

Not saying that opinion is right, just saying that's generally how people think.
Bowsie makes some very good points!
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:37 AM   #15
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Wal Mart is banned where I live!!!! You have to drive all the way out to Walpole for a walmart and that's too damn far for me! But I've read that Wal Mart was trying to open up a store in Roxbury, which is the hard streets, ghetto. And that's only a couple miles down the street from me.
Wal-Mart is kind of a different animal in this discussion. I think a lot of communities dislike Wal-Mart, and not just because they're a chain. If I was a local leader I'd definitely keep Wal-Mart out of my town.

The challenge with Wal-Mart in rural areas is that it has two impacts. It kills your own local merchants, which is bad for your city. But if Wal-Mart comes to your town it also kills all the local merchants in other nearby cities. That sales tax then comes to your town and helps the local government.

So the local government is in a spot. Do they take Wal-Mart and help themselves while killing businesses, or do they stop it, in which case it could go to a nearby city and still kill your businesses while giving your town no benefit? It's a tough situation. You really just want Wal-Mart to leave your whole region alone.
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