By Dan Motley
In his recent remarks concerning ongoing improvements to Elmwood Park, E. Duane Howard (“Elmwood should have stayed a park,” Jan. 3 commentary) provides further evidence that certain segments of Roanoke’s population remain captive to an unyielding nostalgia for Roanoke’s past. Although this type of sentimentalism appears harmless, the broader implications of Howard’s complaint send the wrong message to those who seek a more dynamic and economically competitive community.
Over the past several years, the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce has been a consistent advocate for building and promoting regional amenities that will attract young professionals and economic growth to the region. After several studies and sometimes contentious debate over the location for an outdoor music venue, city leaders and other interested stakeholders ultimately decided to move forward on developing an amphitheater in Elmwood Park.
Motley is chairman of the board of the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce.