Development and Capital Investment in Morgantown
This is what development looks like in the environment of a vibrant economy. The photo at left is the Boathouse Bistro in Morgantown, West Virginia. Sure, one might say, "anyone can build a new restaurant." But if I had turned around and snapped another photo, you would have seen a shot of the new, under-construction Marina Tower office buidling. Connecting all of this is the Morgantown Riverwalk path. It is undeniably cool and convenient to be able to set out on foot from the Waterfront Place Hotel and walk to several appealing destinations, such as the ampitheater, the rail trail, Oliverio's (and several other eating/drinking establishements) and around a dozen office locations. In addition to the capital injection downtown, there's a $1.2 billion capital investment underway in the county with the new Longview Power plant.
Yes, there is traffic to contend with (and they are working on solutions), but Morgantown has energy and momentum. It is envigorating to come here. Part of the success comes from the University's presence here. From my perspective, the other part ... the Morgantown "Tipping Point" was the decision by its leaders to embrace and leverage the power and impact of their river, the Monongalia River. That has spurred capital investment, which fuels development ... and momentum ensues.
My visionary friend, Jeff James and I landed on an outlandish (maybe not, once you ponder it) idea that our state should connect Morgantown and Charleston via light rail. As Jeff said, "They ought to just extend the Personal Rapid Transit system (or PRT) from Morgantown to Charleston." And so what originated as an off-handed remark makes all the sense in the world.
- Saves gas - in a time in which gas prices are only going to rise.
- Improves and enriches the travel experience.
- Adds convenience for the traveler.
- Alleviates traffic congestion.
- Decreases traffic accidents.
Who agrees? Who disagrees? Let us hear from all marketing geniuses on this topic, please!