Ellensburg used to have enough to keep shoppers in town

To the Editor:

While growing up in Ellensburg we hardly ever had to shop out of town. We didn't need to! We had Berry's, JC Penney, Ostrander's, Leather and Lace, Money Savers, Willie Strange Sporting Goods, Stereocraft, Kreidel's, McCullough Music, Zittings, Mundy's, Dean's, Sports Boutique, Christine's, Moser's, Brantley's, Websters, the 88 Cent Store, Sprouse Reitz, Four-Seasons, Golden Needle, Coast to Coast, Ellensburg Hardware, Just for You, two Hallmarks, Shoe's Unlimited, Rodeo Records, Shapiro's, Walter's, Myrna's, Button's Jewelers, In-Seam, Mode o' Day, Mills Saddle 'n Togs, and who could forget using the Ladies Lounge and having lunch at Carlyle's, just to name a few! The salespeople were always friendly and the downtown was bustling. Remember the Moonlight sales? We used to line up outside Berry's waiting for the sale to start!

Then came parking problems. I used to park, shop, and have to move my car because the two-hour time limit was up. It's strange to think back to the day where you could actually go downtown and spend the day shopping!

So, is Fred Meyer to blame for killing off all the downtown businesses? I've heard that increase in rent was an issue. Why hasn't that been addressed? Who can afford to maintain or start a business when the rent is so high?

You can still count on the older businesses (Woods, Gifts of the Crow for example) but I miss Berry's and all the friendly people who worked there. I miss the Moonlight Sales, the ladies who managed the Ladies Lounge and the cleanliness of the downtown. I'm frustrated when I can't find something simple that I need in Ellensburg (a zipper for example). So, I make a day of it, grab some friends/family and spend the day shopping Yakima and no, I don't come home with just a $4.89 zipper, my car is full!

For those of you on the city council fighting regional retail, take a walk around downtown. Pretend you need to buy some black pants or a zipper. Look at the dirty sidewalks, litter, empty storefronts, businesses that now have special hours with closed signs in their windows. Now drive to Yakima and see all the Ellensburg residents shopping and tax money going to Yakima.

You need to start somewhere, as this isn't working anymore! Sorry, but I have to say it … If you build it they will come! Hang in there Randy Lamb.

Joy Walters

Ellensburg

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