The Rack Room is pulling out of the First and Main project in Blacksburg. Normally, a business leaving a shopping development wouldn’t seem to be a political matter. However, there’s an interesting thread of comments developing in this post on our New River Valley community news site, in which some commenters are blaming Blacksburg’s decision not to allow a Wal-Mart in the town for the sluggish performance of this particular development.
More specifically, they blame town councilman Don Langrher, who, as you’ll recall, was the Democratic candidate for the House of Delegates this fall — and lost to Republican Joseph Yost.
A commenter there named “Chuck” opines thusly:
Like it or not, Wal-Mart would have brought to First and Main exactly what it needed to succeed – foot traffic. It would have increased the number of people who would be there every day, people who would spend money there.Unfotunately for First and Main and the rest of the County, there is a strong poliical faction that is more concerned with being “elite” than they are with spurring economic development. This kind of short-sighteded elitism is exactly why Langrehr lost to Yost in the recent election.
What do you think? You can find that post (and all its comments) here.