Residents wary of chain stores

Online survey shows
strong opposition

A large majority of both town and valley residents oppose chain stores in Mancos.

Over the summer, more than 100 area residents responded to an online survey conducted by the Town of Mancos.

On the survey designed to gather feedback from residents as town officials weigh whether to allow medium and big box commercial businesses to operate within town limits, three out of four town and valley residents said no to the idea. Most indicated a chain store would detract from the town's western charm and lifestyle.

"Mancos is a very unique town with its own identity," said one town resident on the survey. "We live in a beautiful valley, and our town draws people to live and visit because we are different. We cling tightly to our western heritage."

Only one in five in-town residents supported the idea of a chain store, even with specific conditions, according to the survey.

"Mancos needs more tax revenue, and it would be nice to have more conveniences," one resident stated on the survey. "Just make them have an 'old west' fašade."

According to the survey, more than a third believe a chain store could boost local tax revenues, but nearly two-thirds said they didn't see any benefits that could arise if box stores were allowed. Only about one in four believed a chain store would provide greater local convenience.

"If we want to shop at a box store, we can go to Durango or Cortez; leave Mancos alone," one respondent stated. "Jobs created from this type of store are low paying and not a benefit to the community."

Survey respondents, more than three out of five, also indicated that chain stores would have a negative impact on traffic, and more than a three quarters of respondents were opposed to any commercial development.

"This is corporate America invading rural America, and it is not wanted," one respondent proclaimed.

Mayor Rachel Simbeck said the survey was used as a way to poll public opinion. Town Hall has yet to take any official action on the survey, and planning and zoning commissioners are still researching options, Simbeck said.