Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Two Headlines with Dollar Signs

The project with the questionable goal of turning Route 66 in Greenport into Route 9 south of Poughkeepsie took an important step forward yesterday. Harbalwant Singh, with a bevy of town and county officials declaring that Greenport and Columbia County are "open for business," broke ground on his Greenport Crossings project. Gas station, convenience store, A&W restaurant come first; enhanced bowling alley and chain hotel to follow. Audra Jornov has the story in the Register-Star: "18.5 mil project has groundbreaking."

By contrast, W. T. Eckert has the story of how Scenic Hudson partnered with the Dutchess Land Conservancy and the U. S. Department of Agriculture to preserve ten farms in Dutchess and Columbia counties: "$3.6 million in easements preserves 10 farms."  


  1. My memory is that the site that's proposed for the hotel and entertainment complex on Route 66 is overgrown with weeds and has useless rotting buildings on it.

    Isn't it better to have commercial activity, employment, and tax revenue from business at that site than to have the current deteriorating dead zone?

    I don't really understand what I perceive to be Gossips' disdain for regular businesses serving regular needs for regular people.

    Is it not good to have new business in Columbia County unless it's oriented to design, chic food, or art and antiques?

    I don't think that Columbia County can afford to roll its eyes at the arrival of a national chain hotel for instance. If Gossips checked with the Tourism Office, Gossips would find that the absence of a chain hotel in the County hurts other businesses -- because Columbia County travel and entertainment venues do not pop up in search engine results without the chain hotel anchor.

    -- Jock Spivy

  2. Jock:

    My disdain is not for "regular businesses serving regular needs for regular people." Rather it is for development projects that refuse to recognize, honor, and build on what is unique and special about Columbia County and instead seem hell-bent to turn Columbia County into, to use James Kunstler's phrase, "the geography of nowhere."

    I don't have a problem with a chain hotel--in this case, a franchise hotel--locating in Columbia County. But a hotel located behind a bowling alley/entertainment center and next to a giant gas station? An A&W restaurant, whose website is enough to make your arteries harden, locating in the middle of what should be farm-to-table country? Surely, we should set our sights on something better.