'I got your back."
A long time ago, you may have said this phrase when protecting someone's life, and that may continue today in places like Afghanistan. But how could we use that phrase in Colorado Springs? What would it mean if we embraced that phrase when speaking as individuals to the community?
On South Nevada Avenue, it starts with communicating with one another to understand each other's challenges, and finding we have much in common. As a community, we share many common struggles as well.
Here's something I want to communicate: South Nevada Avenue is not that bad of a place. I know many of you think it is bad, but I have worked and lived in the midst of it for more than seven years, and I can tell you it is not bad.
Would you believe that many senior citizens and tourist families check into our hotel, in the very center of South Nevada, and stay here for three or four nights, then leave with no idea this is often considered a "bad area"? In fact, we have had repeat customers stay here multiple times before someone in the community "clues them in."
The bottom line: It's not so much the area as it is the operation. A well-run business on South Nevada or East Platte Avenue may meet your needs better than a well-run operation in a (perceived) better area.
We can impact this community in big ways — often at the same time increasing our own convenience — by buying locally instead of out of town or on the Web. Jobs, tax revenues and quality of life could all be improved.
We can make our own city better in the next year. We can get each other's backs.
Shop in Colorado Springs. Take a vacation in Colorado Springs. I know you already live here, but why not? Do something here you normally would not do. Visit the attractions here. They are quite good. Many people travel from many miles away to see them.
When you patronize business, it creates tax revenue for the city. It also helps businesses hold onto employees, and business is good at recirculating dollars into the community. I know, because every dollar my business makes goes back into the community. In fact, more than every dollar I make goes back into the community in some form. (We are seeking another loan to continue this gesture of goodwill.)
I am not advocating for people to spend money they don't have. But if you are shopping for something, consider making your purchase locally. And encourage your out-of-town friends to come see what you have seen.
Bill Kenline, who operates Rodeway Inn and Suites at 1623 S. Nevada Ave., also heads the South Nevada Community Association and has led his area's business owners in working with the city to make many improvements.