Letter to the Editor: Don’t Let Los Alamos Become a One Mall Town

Los Alamos

Many folks are glad to have the opening of a larger Smith’s Marketplace, and others, perhaps not so much. In any case, It will be a new, interesting phase for people in Los Alamos and White Rock and the many others who pass through town.

The Marketplace wants to be many things to many people. As good as this may or may not be, we would like to encourage everyone to keep in mind – and to continue to support – the many local businesses that absolutely rely on our daily commerce to stay open. Those stores are run by brave folks selling goods and services that we need, and whose faces we know around town. In some sense, they make what is unique about our shopping trips to downtown. 

I know some (perhaps all) of them have budgeted for the impact of the new Marketplace, and have some inkling that business will return to some pre-Marketplace level after a couple months, but clearly the future is murky for them – and us. It would be a very sad thing indeed to have Los Alamos County, company town that it sort of is, evolve into nothing more than a one mall town. 

Let’s remember and support the small, local businesses that try hard to keep us coming in: our hardware store with its summer nursery, department store, pet store, home decor store, restaurants, movie rental shop, jewelry store, new bike/climb/run store, new chocolate specialty store, and all the others. Nearly all are within walking distance of one another. How cool is that?

Grocery shopping has for years been a sore topic after the demise of the competition of Piggly Wiggly and Ed’s Market, leaving no alternative but Smith’s and its predecessors in its current space. The small and magnificent Los Alamos Food Co-op continues to be the only alternative for food shopping. And that drive or bike ride out to the Co-op: it’s not bad at all.


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