While reading the article “Loitering youth frustrates store owner” I couldn’t help but become frustrated myself, but instead by the words of the store owner, Janet Crandall. I disagree with the fact that the youth centre belongs in another area. I think that having them in the downtown area keeps them accountable to the community they live in, it’s easily monitored by police, citizens and shop owners, and it provides a safe place for the participants to interact and socialize. It has also proved to be a great music venue for all ages to enjoy.
We live in a small town, with limited buildings to operate all the stores, conveniences and programs that makes us a diverse mountain town, and sometimes we have to learn to be neighbourly. It’s unfortunate that a store specializing in sugary treats cannot capitalize on their largest customer demographic when they are direct neighbours.
And blaming the youth for “killing your business” is opinion and not fact. In the last 5 years in Golden, how many businesses have failed to stay open to see a 2 year anniversary?! It was in the same 5 years that two other stores that specialized in similar candy products had to close their doors. There are all sorts of statistics that show sales start to decline after the first initial months of a new business being open, and many variables are to blame.
A large population of Golden residents live a fairly healthy, active lifestyle and sugar is not a huge part of our intake. Could it be that a niche market such as specialty sweets isn’t what we will spend the remainder of our disposable income on?!
The Youth Centre provides a safe place for youth of all social, economical and ethnic backgrounds to complete their homework, build their confidence through music, games and art, and to simply be kids. This does not mean there won’t be disputes or arguments, but you can’t guarantee that at any store.
I think being a business owner in Golden means working with the community not against it, and the reason I pass your store has nothing to do with the kids that stand outside your door, but rather with the way you have decided to talk poorly about them the few times I did come in. And those visits took place long before Feb. 24 when you were trying to “co-exist”.