Saturday, January 17, 2009

Brrr...A Cold Day Out!

This morning I got the dogs out at 7:30 in the morning and the temperature was -6 degrees. I got up early to go to the RV Show in Pittsburgh. This is the third consecutive year I have gone to the Pittsburgh RV Show. I has shrunk every year to contract with the economy. A slowdown in RV's and travel are one of the first signs that an economic slowdown in coming. This year it was very evident. There were many less vendors at the show and the show was normally on two different floors, but this year it was on one floor. I spent a couple of hours there talking to some of the vendors about their feelings this year and they have seen an extreme downturn in their sales. I wished them the best. There usually are a good mix of motor homes to trailers. There were many trailers and very few motor homes. The most expensive motor home this year was $260,000 when in the past I have seen half-million dollar motor coaches. The dealers were heavily discounting their vehicles, many by as much a 1/3. One new vendor I saw there was Trailer City from Fairmont. Usually all the vendors are from Pennsylvania and I told Trailer City that I thanked them for coming to the RV show this week.
Later I went to Wheeling to Cabela's. That place seems to be bustling even with the economy. There is still some growth in the area with new retail and new restaurants. Across the interstate from Cabela's was a new dealership built for Bob Robinson Chevrolet-Pontiac-GMC-Buick that had relocated from downtown Wheeling. They are continuing to build more showrooms adjacent to the facility that they have open now. I just hope after all the financial investment they put into the new showrooms, General Motors doesn't go out of business.
Then I went to Washington Crown Center outside of Washington, Pennsylvania. All of its anchor stores are still open, but many stores have closed such as AT&T, Old Navy, and The Gap. KB Toys are in the process of being liquidated at this time. It's sad to see the demise of that mall since a year or two ago it was still bustling.
After going to Washington Crown Center, I went to Washington Mall. I first went to the JCPenney that had moved back to that mall after the new store subsided last summer. They had the glass doors to the mall closed and painted over. I wanted to go into the mall and see whats left. I exited JCPenney and went to the mall doors on the outside. The first set of doors I went to were locked, then the second, and a man exited the third set and went through those doors. I walked in and on the left there was a Coldwell Banker agency and on the right there was a photography studio. They were both closed, I presume for the day. I noticed the entire mall was cold, maybe 50 degrees. I kept walking through the hall, turned left, and show no stores or signs until I saw the JoAnn Frabric store at the end. I circle around and walked to the other end thinking about all of the stores that were once in the mall and all of the people who have once worked there. I remember the pastry shop and the Baskin-Robbins, as well as the Langs and the Christian bookstore that was once there. The ceilings in the mall were leaking through. I had a camera in my car and I had the notion to go get it, but it was just too cold to go back in the mall to take picture.
Let's just say it was a day to reflect on where we are now at in America! God Bless America in our next four years!

1 comment:

  1. Our city (Clarksburg) inspires memories like that. What used to be an energetic, bustling commerce center with many shops, hotels, banks,movie theaters, restaurants and the like are now gone from the streets. The office building of big corporations are gone or moving out (Steptoe and Johnson) and the factories that once supported our young families are gone. No more factory jobs - father passed on to sons... No more trade skills passed down family lines.
    Nothing made in America anymore. No American families have loyalty to a big manufacturer. (if they ever did) No small businesses being built to support a big industry or construction firm.
    I guess we should all read "Who moved my cheese?" or maybe we should get up, get energized and get busy building again. But differently.