Man on the Street – How would you describe Rockford?

July 9, 2015 // 0 Comments

“Beautiful!” answered our first Man on the Street when asked to describe Rockford. Chet Messer and Shirley Timblin were visiting from Topsham, Maine and Madison, Maine, respectively. They didn’t have enough good things to say about our town. They said the city was absolutely wonderful, from the beauty of it to the friendliness of the people in the shops and restaurants. And don’t forget the brewery, both insisted. The pair were walking around downtown Rockford with Plainfield Township residents Carol Vos and Richard Reed. They have been in town a week and were due to leave the next day, July 4. According to Chet, he has cousins in Ontario and the drive back will include a visit to them. They said all four spent quite a few dollars in Rockford while visiting and people especially noticed the distinctive Maine accent (what accent?) and asked where Chet and Shirley were from. Pictured are Carol Vos and Richard Reed and Shirley and Chet. Notice Rockford Brewing conveniently in the background. Caitlin and Nate Eyestone were just getting back on their double bike when they stopped to answer the question about Rockford. They both said they love it. The Grand Rapids couple rides up often during the summer, and particularly like coming in on farm market days so they can grab a picnic lunch and eat before continuing on their ride up to the end of the paved portion of the White Pine Trail. They said they often bike the entire paved portion of the Trail—a good fifty miles—but more often only ride as far as Rockford and stop to visit. They said both the Trail and Rockford are beautiful and a favorite of theirs. Nine and a half-year-old Sydney Kremer said, “I think it is a wonderful town.” She was not shy to speak right up when the question about Rockford was posed to both her and her grandmother, Loretta Pearson. Kremer, from Grand Rapids, was enjoying a treat outside Dam Dogs, which was a very popular destination on a hot Friday before the Fourth of July Saturday. “I like the shops and I think it is a good place to live,” she elaborated. Loretta pointed out that Sydney was just asking why she would ever want […]

Next Step Underway for Sparta Downtown Revitalization

March 5, 2009 // 0 Comments

On March 11, between 7 and 9 p.m., local residents may be receiving a phone call for a survey about downtown Sparta. Be nice – this isn’t a telemarketer. This will be a call from Sparta business representatives, as well as many Sparta High School Interact Club members, to conduct a short phone survey to ask questions about downtown businesses. The questions will include topics such as why shoppers visit downtown Sparta, how often do they visit downtown Sparta, where do you do most of your family shopping, and why do you choose to shop in other areas. The purpose behind this anonymous survey is to collect information about current downtown Sparta to current and new potential shoppers from as far as 20 miles away. Working with the national consultants HyettPalma, downtown Sparta business representatives are kicking off the residential phone survey project as part of the blueprint process. The blueprint process is a program designed to give a community a market-based downtown action plan, used to guide downtown’s revitalization efforts of the next five years. The blueprints program was a grant awarded to the Village of Sparta as one of six eligible communities. The “Blueprint for Michigan’s Downtown” program is a grant award from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). In addition to the phone survey, Sparta area business representatives, as part of the Blueprint Committee, are scheduled to host a Sparta area town meeting on Tuesday, March 24, 2009 at the Sparta Civic Center at 7 p.m. The town meeting is open for community members, business representatives, organization leaders, and residents to voice their thoughts of the future for downtown Sparta. Working with the consultants, the community will answer questions such as: If the residents, business community, and government were to work together over the next five years to make downtown Sparta the best it could be, what would you like to see result from that effort? For you to consider those efforts a success, what kind of an experience would you like to be able to have in downtown Sparta five years from now? What would be the type of businesses found in downtown? Who would the customers and users of our successful downtown be in five years? What kinds of […]