Friday, July 16, 2010

Bass Joke

Donn Esmonde's on again-off again love affair with Congressman Brian Higgins continued today on the topic of waterfront development. Esmonde, who thankfully and uncharacteristically neglected to describe the physical features of Higgins in his article, lauded Higgins for finally admitting that downtown redevelopment would do fine without Bass Pro (and the huge taxpayer handout that goes along with it.) Higgins states in the article:

“This community needs to move forward,” Higgins said. “We look pathetic when we allow ourselves to be held hostage to these big, glitzy projects that never materialize. It takes a psychological toll on the community. We are not going to tolerate holdups because an agreement [with Bass Pro] is not signed.”

“More than 130 [local] restaurants and retailers are interested in being part of Canal Side,” Higgins added. “We al-ready have the historic component and public space. The $105 million is enough money to do the infrastructure to make this a viable development parcel . . . We can create a vibrant attraction, with or without Bass Pro.”
I agree with Higgins on this issue. Bass Pro's lure 9 years ago was the fact they were a regional draw. Now, they have stores all over the place and are not the anomaly they once were. However, they still are demanding a huge subsidy from us. No way. They need to take a hike. Downtown does not need them. As Higgins states, there are plenty of local retailers willing to step up and open shop. I hope they are given the chance to do so.
Donn Esmonde: Bass Pro not needed to lure people : Donn Esmonde : The Buffalo News

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