Business owner: Tryon a ‘ghost town’

Published 5:34 pm Thursday, June 21, 2012

Two of the empty storefronts currently available in downtown Tryon. The building on the right once housed Kiveo, an application development company. Elmo’s Pub & Grill was located in the building on the left. (photo by Samantha Hurst)

Council hears pleas for economic development help
The “Friendliest Town in the South” may no longer be so friendly to business.
Owners of businesses in Tryon told Tryon Town Council on Tuesday, June 19 they are concerned about the town’s downtown businesses. Not just stores but entire buildings are empty, they said.
“Tryon is not just a ghost town on Saturday,” Tryon House owner Mary Prioleau said. “It’s a ghost town all the time.”
Prioleau said she has been to council in previous years complaining about downtown employees taking up merchant parking spaces, but she said lately she’s thankful employees park there or else there would be no cars. She also mentioned that she knew of two other businesses planning to close soon, which would leave only a couple of retail stores still open downtown. Elmo’s Pub & Grill was the most recent restaurant to close in downtown.
Prioleau asked council members when they are going to do something about economic development.
“When are y’all going to take responsibility for helping downtown (businesses) prosper and give incentives to [have a business] here?” she asked.
Saluda Forge owner Bill Crowell said if Tryon wants to help downtown they have to market the town to people visiting. He compared Tryon to Saluda, saying he recently attended a memorial service in Saluda on Sunday and at 3 p.m. he couldn’t find a parking spot.

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