By E. ALAN WADLINGER
I live in White Rock, but I drove my wife to a hair dressing appointment in Los Alamos. While waiting for her, I tried to shop for her birthday present. Since my go-to store, CB Fox, is no longer in existence, I drove around downtown Los Alamos to see what was available.
I was disturbed and depressed by all of the empty retail space. I thought of picking up a shovel for her at Metzger’s but was afraid that she might use it to bury me after hitting me with it. I finally found a box of chocolates at Rose Chocolatier.
I can imagine what the tourists that we attract, because of our historic significance, are observing while walking around town to do some shopping and thinking that this place is dead. And because of their disappointment at what they see, will not even bother to stop to eat at one of our restaurants.
Therefore, I strongly suggest that the county do what it can to keep the CB Fox store for retail.
So here is a suggestion:
The CB Fox building has enough floor space to provide for a substantial sporting goods store to include shoes and clothing, fishing and hunting equipment, backpacking, skiing, canoeing, biking, and sporting instruction books, etc. We are the gateway to the Jemez Mountains and centrally located for many summer and winter outdoor activities.
The former kid’s store at CB Fox could be used as a visitor center to both advertise the area with a constantly running video showing the sites of North-Central New Mexico, and retail to sell hiking maps, souvenirs, local interest cards, and Los Alamos T-shirts like CB Fox used to have.
This use of the CB Fox store could be the start of a needed critical mass for attracting additional retail to turn us from a “dead” downtown to a vibrant one.
I am afraid that unless the County takes an active role in how the CB Fox building is used, it will just add to the dead space we already have. Retailers will have no incentive to invest in downtown Los Alamos unless they can envision substantial foot traffic into their stores.
This suggestion will be placed in the County Survey.