Each of us has our own reasons for living in the Evergreen area. The beauty of mountain living, the solitude of being nestled in the pines and our close proximity to Denver are all appealing attributes.
With my longevity in the community of close to 30 years, I’ve earned the honored title of “local.” As with most “locals” you know, I am very protective, loyal and adamant about preserving everything that is special about our community.
The changes, growth and economic development that have occurred have mostly been aesthetically pleasing and have brought us conveniences that we welcome. In the “old days” of Evergreen, we had few choices — one grocery store, a drugstore, a hardware store, a few restaurants, one art gallery, some small retail stores, real estate offices, a few professional services — and everything else was down the hill.
Then one day Evergreen was targeted as an ideal living community, the land of opportunity, and in the ‘90s turned into a thriving boomtown. Many people in the community fought to keep the rapid growth environmentally and ethically sound, using the “Evergreen Community Plan” (which was developed by locals) as our guide.
Now we have grown accustomed to the conveniences of staying at home for our day-to-day needs; we are a 99 percent self-sustained community. Shopping, dining, recreation, services, cultural experiences and business dealings have become part of our daily lives. Personally, I could count on one hand the number of times I travel down the hill each month, and it usually involves meeting with out-of-town family members.
Indicative of our nation’s economic instability, we are losing valuable businesses that provide services and products that we have come to depend on. Within a relatively short time, we have said goodbye to: Evergreen Drug, The Hardware, Journeys Travel, D&J Office Supply, Stroh’s Restaurant, Latino Arts, Scrapbooking Depot, Evergreen Garden Center, Sequoia Wellness Spa, Westlane Capital, Wycoff Mortgage, CJ McClaine’s, Tanglewoods, Silver Platters, Petals on the Parkway, Rock’n U Ranch, WoodArt, The Wine Bar, Blue Daisy, Cee Cee’s Café, Elevated Living Magazine, Finesse Express, Monkey Doodles, Shoe Haus, Skin Prescription, Marko’s Mexican Food, Artful Journey School of Fine Arts, Photo Express-It, Sammy’s Last Cast Tavern and, most recently, Albertsons.
These are significant losses to the vitality, spirit and fabric of this community.
If you appreciate where you live, if you want your home investment values to increase, if you’re proud of the special qualities of the community, please join me on my bandwagon to support local business first!
We are a community of 40,000 people. There are approximately 1,200 local businesses. Our town does not have to become a recession statistic. You have to ask yourself if Evergreen is worth the effort. You can make all the difference by shopping locally.
Melanie Nuchols is president of the Evergreen Chamber of Commerce and has been an Evergreen area resident since 1980. To contact the chamber, call 303-674-3412.