As the city plans for growth and recruits new businesses, it should keep its younger population in mind, merchants agree.
The city is set to hear from the Main Street South Carolina design team today at noon at the Pickens County Museum of Art and History. The team has been conducted a charrette, or intense design session, the past several days in Pickens and will unveil their final presentation at today's noon meeting.
As part of the charrette, several input meetings have been held around the city.
During a merchants input meeting Wednesday teen Tyler Clark with Holcombe Cycles urged planners and city officials to keep people his age in mind.
“There's nothing for kids my age,” Clark said. “There's 1,600 kids at the high school and there's nothing really for us to do past 4 or 5 o'clock, especially on Fridays and Saturdays. I have no reason to stay in Pickens because there's no movie theaters or attractions. I can go to Easley and spend less money and have more fun.”
Tammy Anthony with JD Sports said the high school students who shop at her store often complain that there is nothing to do.
“It's amazing the ideas that they have,” Anthony said.
The opinions and ideas of Pickens youth are important to the design team, which held a separate planning session for high school students Tuesday afternoon, said Tripp Muldrow, who moderated the Wednesday meeting.
Teens at the meeting wished that Pickens had a drive-in movie theater. The closest drive-in theaters are in Monetta, Greenwood or Tiger, Georgia.
“It would be totally unique,” Muldrow said. “There's not anything like that around here.”
Attendees asked if the old stadium could be used as a theater.
“It doesn't have to be dead center downtown, but you do want it in the local area,” said David Crane.
He said the city needs more options for family entertainment.
“Walking parks, walking trails like Falls Park downtown,” Crane said. “I know we can't match that, but we need stuff like that. If we can get things to bring families into Pickens and keep them here for the day – if they're going to walk in a park for a couple of hours, the chances of them buying an ice cream or buying a burger … or buying something is better.”
The city's plans to create an amphitheater downtown will help draw families to the area, merchants agreed.