Recently someone shared my time-lapse video of the project and stated Lewistown has been a "ghost town" ever since. That statement really bothered me. Obviously, this person does not spend any quality time in our community. I am in Lewistown 4 to 10 times per week, and there is always something going on, even during a pandemic. Many wonderful people are working and living in downtown Lewistown. It is actually pretty impressive to watch the transformation occurring with all the new businesses and people deciding to call downtown Lewistown their home.
I will agree - retail is not what it was in the past, but this is the case for most American towns and is not unique to Lewistown. Consumer and business demands have changed and will continue to change if you shop at Walmart and online retailers over your local retailers. I have not stepped foot in our local Walmart for over five years. I do shop online if the product I am looking for is not available locally out of necessity. Unfortunately, this occurs more than I would like to admit, and I do wish it was different.
Even with the retail environment being different, our downtown is transforming into something pretty darn impressive. In reality, there is very little vacancy on Market Street in Lewistown. Most of the places that are vacant today are either in need of major repairs to be functional or oversized for most small businesses. Either scenario requires major remodeling and expense to make the property viable for most, especially with today's building codes.
Our downtown is not a "ghost town." Our downtown does not look like it did in the past. Our downtown is transforming. Our downtown is a wonderful place to be!
How are you supporting your downtown and all the local businesses in your community?