Suppressed no more


After attending the opening of the wine bar on Main Street Friday night, the ribbon cutting at the new art gallery on Spokane Way on Saturday, and getting a bite and a cup afterward at the new coffee house a block away, a niggling, suppressed hope fought its way to the surface.

Its seed has always been present, but lately held at bay. Statements from some who return to the coulee after long absences that “this place never changes,” and our own feeling that we’ve been using the word “potential” about the economics of the area for too long for it to continue to be a valid descriptor have sowed doubt.

But last week that potential became too obvious to deny.

Friday night at The Wine Bar confirmed a trend: the area is getting younger. Where once the older population held a strong majority in regional demographics, that seems to be shifting decidedly younger.

And with youth comes a desire for change. That desire sparks ambition and plans to achieve. That’s what we see now.

That and a bounce off the bottom. With storefronts on Main Street and elsewhere long vacant, it may be that the economics have changed and will now allow easier experimentation with entrepreneurship.

It’s been a long time coming, but the region may just be starting to find its own interpretation of that word “potential.”

— Scott Hunter

editor and publisher

Coulee Medical Center ER and Walk-In Care

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