In the recent article written by Tommie Jefferson entitled “It’s time for a serious intervention in Monticello,” Mr. Jefferson called for action from outside law enforcement and economic development agencies to rescue the county seat from its course of demise.
That’s not enough. It’s time for local residents, businessmen, and politicians to wake up and begin anew their efforts to resuscitate Monticello-and Sullivan County too.
After a long recession, it looks like the economy is slowly rebounding.
Ninety miles away, New York City, which has continued to prosper despite hard times in other regions of the country, is poised on becoming a second Silicon Valley.
And now, because of the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, buying, or building a second home in Sullivan County is also turning out to be a safe investment compared to the Jersey Shore and Eastern Long Island.
The stock market has now reached historic highs, and second home buyers are on their way to Sullivan County.
These second home owners are not coming to Sullivan County for the potential gambling or the water park, or the good restaurants. They are coming because Sullivan County is beautiful and peaceful, with gorgeous lakes, spectacular wide open vistas, fresh air and water, and beautiful farmland.
They are coming because Sullivan County is a nice peaceful place to relax, and it’s less than two hours from New York.
The window of opportunity for Monticello is closing to take advantage of these trends and the locals must make their move quickly before the window closes completely.
The greatest shortcoming in Sullivan County is that there is no true “downtown.” There’s no place to shop for the major purchases that are required to furnish a second home, and no place to shop for the day to day needs of home furnishings and clothing.
Every successful second home community has a downtown.
Except Sullivan County.
We have beautiful building stock in Monticello we have beautiful sidewalks and plantings and roadways.
It is a perfect place for development and that development should be outlet stores.
Just imagine how well a Gap outlet store would do, or American Eagle, or Bass, or Crate & Barrel.
And forget about the drop off in the winter. These second home owners are up in Sullivan County every weekend all year long. And in the winter, when the recreational facilities are limited, what could be better than shopping in outlet stores?
This, it seems to us, is a no-brainer.
But the window of opportunity is closing and surrounding urban areas in Pennsylvania and along the Hudson are stealing potential customers.
It’s time to wake up. Unless the people of Monticello, Liberty, and Sullivan County too act soon, all will be lost.