So, whats the plan Marci?
Updated: Dec 3, 2019
Yes, I get asked this on a weekly basis. :)
Three long years ago we purchased this amazing old hotel with no preconceived great plan of refurbishment. Frankly we were amazed that our offer was accepted and it was definitely one of those life changing, “Oh crap, what are we going to do now?” moments.
One of the first things that my mother-n-law Vicki said to me after buying it was that we were ‘doers’, and if anyone could do it we could. High words of praise, but the more that I thought about it, it seemed like maybe this time we had bit off more than we could chew. The responsibility became much larger than simply rebuilding a building. This particular space is the cornerstone of our community. We have loved, laughed, fought, danced, played pool, and grown up in it for many generations. There is a firm connection to our past, but our job is to now create a space that will work for todays modern living. Unfortunately, there haven’t been a lot of long term successful business’ in the downtown area of Biggs. I’m not sure if it has had to do with lack of maintained building spaces available, poor ownership, lack of community support or what… but we really do have potential for greatness!
We have wonderful neighbors... people don't hesitate to stop and chat when they walk past your house. Remember all the the flags that line the street each patriotic holiday? We do this! We are an awesome community! Volunteers step up to coach little league teams, or to bring meals to sick neighbors. If there is a lemonade stand on the street, we totally stop and leave a few extra dollars. Rather than to point out the negatives, maybe we should build on the positives?
Planning for success... Everyone seems to have suggestions… some outrageous… many financially improbable… some absolutely awesome. I’ve decided that it would probably behoove me to be strategic about what fills the spaces. Frankly as business owners we have to know our market (fancy word for ideal customers). Are Biggs residents our only market? Can we support 7 new business spaces (retail or office)? Perhaps our market is not only just locals, maybe it stretches out to the cars on Hwy 99, and if so, how do we convince them to drive the mile off the highway to see our adorable tree lined little community? Could Biggs be a destination spot on weekends? I’ve seen groups of bicyclists, motorcyclists, vintage cars, and runners all pop in on their way through town. Outside of the PC (which I consider a successful local business), there aren’t many places to stop to get a soda, or lunch. What can we potentially offer them? We have every single extra home and rental in town filled by our friends from Paradise. It would be wonderful if they might want to stick around, and tell their neighbors about the wonderful little town they've been living in!
My personal, very unrefined plan is to turn the old restaurant into a venue. The quirky character of this small space is perfect for parties, reunions and gatherings. With it's white columns, tall airy windows, and overall vintage flair, it is sure to be a great option for those looking for a space to celebrate.
The other space that I hope to develop is the backyard. The plan is for it to be slowly groomed to feel like a European courtyard (some inspiration above). Complete with shutters, flower boxes, patio pavers, glowing outdoor lights and shade barriers. The space will potentially be available to rent out for small gatherings.
Outside of these spaces there are 6 other units downstairs that have the potential to be rented out. The front corner space has been earmarked for a small clothing boutique. There are three other larger spaces with potential. I’m hoping that someone will be able to use the side one as a coffee shop. It has a great side door entrance and room on the sidewalk for café tables & chairs. Yes, I think that Biggs can support a limited schedule coffee shop if it’s run well. The two other larger spaces available would be perfect for office or retail space. There are two single rooms available that might be able to be used by small business owners that need minimal space outside of their home for an office front.
There it is friends... the tentative plan. There’s a lot that we don’t know. Will red tape at some point tie things up? Can we find renters? Will our community step up to shop local? Can we even afford this? Will we fail? Kind of stressful. George Washington Carver once said, “Where there is no vision, there is no hope.”. I guess this is my little bit of vision, and a whole lot of hope.
If you are interested in renting one of our spaces I would love to chat with you! We will strategically be selecting business’ that fit our vision so that we can all work harmoniously together. We don’t have a completion date… things are still pretty much in the air… but I feel strongly that with the backing of our local leadership and like minded, goal oriented business owners, we can totally do this!