Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Friday, October 16, 2015

Time To Step Back, Pause, and Re-think The Plan

Marketing is a field that is not in my wheelhouse.  Oh, I can sell you something you may need in order to  live a normal life, or to just to continue living.  Nurses do that.  But, when it comes to marketing a companies image I am clueless, unless that marketing is based on common sense, then I may be able to offer something.

CVS Pharmacies is a massive company.  They have on their payroll a whole bunch of pharmacists, but a whole lot more marketing, and PR people.  They have to.  They want to be the best, and the biggest pharmacy in the United States.  Currently, they are number two after Walgreen's.  CVS would like to be the pharmaceutical equivalent of Starbucks.

In recent history, CVS has attempted to place a store in Sturbridge at the junction of Route 20, and Holland Road without success.  Something about the construction, and eventual building would adversely affect the Quinebaug River. How it would adversely affect the river more than the ruins already on the site is beyond me.  Again, not in my wheelhouse.

Currently, CVS is hoping to plant itself in front of the Host Hotel, on Route 20,  in the spot occupied by the Exhibition Hall.  The Exhibition Hall houses Bentley's Pub.  The building is one hundred and forty seven years old, and was once the main building at the Sturbridge Fairgrounds.  It is in excellent condition, and is historic.  CVS would prefer to have a new building on that spot after the Exhibition Hall is torn down.

I don't believe the town will allow that to happen.  There is a process in place to determine if a building warrants saving due to its historic significance.  I hope that all the town departments will act in concert to save the building when the time comes.  At present, CVS has asked to submit their site approval plan at a later date. This could mean that CVS is either thinking things over, or they are pulling out.

I have an idea.

We want to encourage large companies to come to Sturbridge, and all they need is a little guidance on just how to fulfill their plans for expansion without causing the communities, like us, from having a conniption when a piece of their town is threatened.  What if the  CVS architects took the existing building, and used it to house their new CVS store.

It would be a design challenge, may cost a bit more, but it would speak very loudly not only to the town, but to all the future towns it would like to build in.   Imagine CVS saving an historic building in historic Sturbridge, Massachusetts so that it may be used in a new way.  The good press that would generate would be a marketing departments dream, and it may even set a precedent for future building by CVS, and other companies.  The goal of building a new store is met, and is met with smiling approval of the locals.

What could be better?

Can't thing of a thing.  Just common sense.