Bypass not hurting downtown business | SierraSun.com

Bypass not hurting downtown business

Scott Hess

Scott HessVisitors watch as an employee makes chocolate at Sweets Handmade Candies in Historic Downtown Truckee.

Most Truckee Historic Downtown businesses have had the same response to the question of whether or not the State Route 267 bypass has hurt business: a resounding “no.”

When the 267 bypass was in its planning stages, many downtown businesses expressed concerns the bypass would negatively affect revenue. Now, nearly a year later (the bypass was officially opened October 24, 2002), it seems that the bypass has actually helped local shops.

Jessica Draves, a manager who has worked at Down by the River Clothing for more than four years, said there has been no effect on its business. “There’s less unwanted traffic. I’m all for it,” she said.

Jack Mortimer, who works at Thousand Mile Outdoorwear, said they have seen an effect – “There is less traffic coming through downtown,” he said. Although this means less people coming through, he felt the people who use the bypass would not have shopped there – they just need to get through town.

The positive effect isn’t limited to one kind of business, either. Cass Rodriguez, the owner of Joe Coffee, said, “As far as business-wise, [the bypass] hasn’t affected us.” She even said it was a good thing, and noted there “isn’t as much congestion.”

Even Bryan Lucas, a manager at the Bar of America, said it has seen no change. “It hasn’t affected us one bit,” he said. “Business is the same as it was before.”

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Despite strong opposition by downtown businesses when the bypass was proposed, the general feeling now is that people seek out Downtown Truckee for their shopping, rather than stumbling upon it.

“Historic Downtown Truckee is one of those places people come to see,” said Andy Burk, manager of Truckee River Outfitters.

Shanie Crosbie, a manager at The Elements Furniture and Accessories, had a similar response. “When people come here, they are planning on shopping. I don’t feel [the bypass] has been negative at all.”

There are more explanations for different businesses, as well. Shaunna Strong, who works at Joe Coffee, said simply, “People need their coffee.”

For the time being, Historic Downtown businesses seem relieved, pleasantly surprised – and more importantly – unaffected by the bypass. While many downtown owners and managers thought the bypass could have meant the end of “Commercial Row,” the bypass seems to have turned into a blessing in disguise.