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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
10:02 PM Tue, Sept. 18th

The truth about 'Wally World' and incentives

"Three Wal-Marts?!!!"

That has been ringing in my ears for weeks now as readers and residents react to the news that the Prescott area soon will have three "Wally Worlds."

In fact, I received the following from George Orlik of Prescott Valley as an example:

Amazing!

A Wal-Mart in Prescott Valley and with incentives, for what? Š to destroy small retail businesses, sell more Communist Chinese merchandise? Š exploit American workers?

Who exactly in local government is offering these incentives? I need to know names and where and when the recall petitions are for me to sign. Your paper should be closely following this major story and have this on your front page, not a benign story of a car dealership closing down or the hiring of a water officer.

You need to report issues critical to Prescott Valley, not nonsense, unless of course your motive is counting potential Wal-Mart advertising dollars.

Let's examine a few things:

• Incentives ­ according to the Fain Signature Group and Prescott Valley town officials, incentives ­ as in cash or tax breaks ­ are not part of the deal. Nada.

• Placement ­ our first story on this appeared on Page 1A; we published a follow-up story on Page 1D in business, and expect to publish more news this week.

• Destroying small businesses ­ I will not deny that some businesses close when a Big Box comes to a town. Actually, though, competition is good for business, small retailers in Prescott have told me since the two Wal-Marts and the mall opened their doors. All whom I have spoken to said the same thing, "Adapt or die."

I am not going to open the Pandora's Box concerning Chinese products, exploitation of workers or potential advertising dollars. They involve things that I do not know enough about to comment on, are assumptions, or have nothing to do with the Editorial Department.

Finally, since Wal-Mart is one of the most successful ­ if not the most successful ­ business in the world, I believe they would not open another store if it had the chance of failing.

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PARTING SHOT ­ Town officials' only incentive in this is that they see it as a way to keep retail money and sales taxes more within their borders.

Contact the columnist at twieds@prescottaz.com