The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

March 29, 2013

Letter: Enid’s ‘downtown’ truly is Downtown

ENID, Okla. — When I read Mr. Austin Wade’s letter “Downtown isn’t really downtown,” I was shocked and somewhat angry.

I felt as though his anger toward the city government had driven him to abandon his fellow citizens who work and make a living downtown.

Then, I realized many people might have the same misunderstanding of how a city, even a small one like Enid, works.

Mr. Wade’s accepted definition of a downtown is taken out of context from a wiki source and is confined to retail districts alone.

Cities often have several districts including, but not limited to, residential, business, manufacturing, retail and service.

Many of these districts are often combined into one.

While downtown doesn’t have any big-box retailers, as Mr. Wade mentioned, it does have several Enid-based businesses from small mom-and-pop retail shops to large offices like Hiland and Triangle Insurance.

In fact, Wymer Brownlee currently is preparing to open their new headquarters in One Grand.

There are more than 60 businesses and 30 retailers that have made downtown their home.

They may not get the foot traffic of a big-box retailer, but these are important businesses in our community and they are located in the geographic center of Enid.

One last thing some may fail to remember about our downtown. as opposed to the retail district on the west side, it acts as a cultural and social hub for Enid.

While that might make you think of the arts, music and food of downtown, it also includes our values as a community with the county courthouse, public library and the public events consistently being held on the square.

Please remember that “downtown” is more than just a retail district.

Enid’s “downtown” truly is Downtown.

John Arend

President

Main Street Enid Inc.

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