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Meet us downtown, construction and all

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There may be a little inconvenience involved from time to time, but downtown Wenatchee is open for business.

The major construction work downtown that will last most of the summer has been timed so that it interrupts businesses as little as possible.

That’s why a great deal of the work is happening at night. Still, businesses open later have reported a drop-off in customers who don’t want to deal with whatever hassles come with that construction work.

That’s a shame and as the downtown project goes along the disruptions will get progressively greater. Then end. Yes, they will end.

In this issue of Business World, we take a trip to downtown Wenatchee to see how things are going and offer up some less-stress advice for people who still want to do their shopping and dining there.

Mostly, going downtown is still easy. Shops are still open, of course. Great deals are being offered and every effort is being made to make the experience as normal as possible.

It’s important for Wenatchee’s economy that downtown remain a vital and vibrant area of commerce throughout the year, and especially summer, when tourists provide a big boost in business revenues and sales tax receipts.

But really, that’s not why people should do business downtown. They should do it because they find interesting stores and restaurants with products and food they want and enjoy.

Having lived in several towns of similar size in the Northwest, I can say from experience Wenatchee has an excellent downtown with a good mix of businesses.

While shopping malls and big-box stores have drawn shoppers away from downtowns in other cities, Wenatchee has managed to maintain its character and customer base. Being so close to the Apple Capital Loop Trail, the park, river, and now, Pybus Market helps.

Some people here may have come to take it for granted but there is a special feel to downtown Wenatchee. A sort of urban feel, yet at the same time small-town.

When the work is done we can expect that downtown Wenatchee will continue to thrive and reinvent itself in the years ahead to meet the changing desires of its customers.

In the meantime, there still are plenty of places to park and stores open awaiting visitors. And you don’t need a hard hat.

Finally, let me say that there was great participation in the 30 Under 35 nomination process this year. It will be a tough but enjoyable chore picking 30 honorees out of that great group of nominees.

At the end of July we’ll have a party to celebrate the 2014 class of 30 Under 35 and a special section will be inserted in Business World introducing that group.

It is one of the highlights of each year gathering all those bright, ambitious and community-minded people together.

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