Those ideas are just his own, though, and Meron implored attendees to help paint a picture of what Plattsburgh can become by getting involved with projects like Destination Master Plan and Vision 2 Action.
“I firmly believe that Plattsburgh has, over many, many years, lacked enough planning in what it should be,” Meron said. “If you take a look at the physical attributes of this community, and the potential for it, it’s within our power to make it better.”
The big picture, he said, is to give visitors so many options that they stay for several days, thus doubling or tripling the amount of money they spend.
“That’s why Disney built four parks to keep people seven days,” Meron said.
Plattsburgh Town Supervisor Bernie Bassett kept the momentum going by citing the presence of several global companies in the region, including Fujitsu Frontech, APG Neuros, Nova Bus and Schluter Systems.
There are more to come, he said, but cautioned that complacency and dependence on government are not the answer.
“We should be optimistic,” Bernie said. “As I look at all of you and see the resource you bring to the community—make it happen. Don’t look to government. Don’t look to us as the sole source. You start it.”
Bassett went on to say that grants are available to help young entrepreneurs.
“If you ask, you might be surprised at what’s there,” Bassett said. “Get aggressive and make it happen. You’ll be surprised what the results are.”
Kim Mannion, a business adviser with the North Country Small Business Development Center, said that the city should be the hub of activity in the region.
One thing that can facilitate that is the reinstatement of an economic development office in the city.
Through that office, a revolving loan fund could be created, which would enable local business owners to apply for financial help for things like repairs.