Reader welcomes Wal-Mart

Posted: Monday, November 28, 2005

Whew! Here we go again with yet another discussion about the whoa’s of a “big” company coming into Kenai.

Folks, we just went through all this when Home Depot came here a couple years ago, remember? Did Spenard Builders go away? No. Did Fred Meyer go away? No. Did Trustworthy go away? NO!

In fact, two of them have or are in the middle of building bigger stores in Soldotna. Kenai has no place to shop (for clothes and assorted things) like Fred’s, and I’m sorry, I am another resident who is tired of going all the way to Soldotna for one-stop shopping.

If the new Wal-Mart is going to have partial groceries in it, like the ones in Anchorage (not the super Wal-Marts down in the Lower 48) then good for us.

Kmart offered the same thing, and other little stores around Kenai didn’t shrivel up and die.

Kenai needs something to come in here and give people choices and give the place some hope, because the way it’s looking, everything is coming down. KFC has closed, along with many other shops. The city needs the income.

I cannot recall the numbers, but when Kmart left, I believe it was somewhere in the midst of 800,000 tax dollars the city lost when they closed shop. That was a huge loss. The flip side of that, and on a more personal level, you have to think of the gas hikes. It would sure be nice not to drive all over between Kenai and Soldotna just to find what you want.

I’m for the Wal-Mart. It’s only going to make things better. Those of you who are afraid of them “taking over,” you’re probably the same folks who were afraid of Home Depot coming here, too.

Big business isn’t all bad. In such a small community, we have shown that despite bigger places coming here, the little ones still thrive. People will still shop at Safeway and IGA, and Fred’s. However, we will have the choice to shop in Kenai for a change — and save some gas money along the way while doing it. Thank you for coming, Wal-Mart.

Kara Steele


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