LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Dover has that much to offer?

In regard to the July 27 story “Dover seeks a ‘collective’ vision of capital city’s future”:

I have traveled a little within the U.S. and a bit internationally (Africa, Europe) and know a bit about what a flourishing, cultured neighborhood looks like.

I have often commented on Dover and my desire to see my hometown(ish) thrive and develop. However, in the article written of the attempts to revitalize Dover, it is my opinion that Mr. Ralph Thompson may be overselling Dover’s situation. He claims that more than half of the people within a 250-mile radius of Dover “would be interested in what the city has to offer.”

According to Google maps, 250 miles from downtown Dover is exactly Pittsburgh. If we are talking about finding something that will convince someone from Pittsburgh to visit Dover, then I suggest that the span of 250 miles is only crossed for big ticket items (Firefly and NASCAR) and not a “vitalized downtown district.” When is the last time you traveled even an hour for a “vitalized downtown district?”

It’s not just a matter of convincing someone to travel the distance, you also have to convince them to skip everything in between. Take that 250-mile measurement, pivot on Dover and see what falls into that circle. New York, Philadelphia, Washington and Baltimore are all very close and those are only the heavy hitters.

Even if a town is only 125 miles away, Dover must compete with everything within a 125-mile radius of that town. Who in Hagerstown, Md., is going to skip Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Washington, or even Fredrick to come to Dover, unless for those big ticket items. Don’t forget all the other smaller towns that offer the same genre of activities.

The 250-mile radius engages such a large market that I suspect whatever system Mr. Thomson used lacked specificity. In short, when is the last time you drove past a McDonald’s to get to a McDonald’s?

Ryan Yoder
El Ejido, Spain

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