Retreat Another Chance To Speak Your Mind


In case you missed your chance to speak your mind on the recent Payson Goal Plan survey, here's another opportunity to get involved.

The public is invited to attend the Focused Future II Retreat in the Payson High School Auditorium. Attendees will listen to the advice of Kent Burnes, a consultant who has worked with towns for more than 20 years helping them revitalize their downtowns. He will give a presentation titled, "The Cool Cities Movement" as a way to spark discussion for later in the day.

After his talk, participants will break into groups to discuss their hopes for the community.

With a downtown revitalization expert on hand, this retreat will be a perfect chance to refocus efforts for Main Street.

Main Street could and should be a pedestrian experience complete with shopping for visitors and a social atmosphere for residents.

In the past year, Main Street has seen the addition of two art galleries, open daily. There is the Pieper Mansion and Sidles Mud House that offer a historical anchor to the street. There is already an archaeological museum, a movie theater, a restaurant and two bars that offer live music. We see potential in this part of Payson and would like to see that potential reached.

Main Street is an important link between the busy Beeline Highway and Green Valley Park and its museum complex. Green Valley Park is the jewel of Payson, but Main Street does not naturally move visitors from one end to the other.

The amenities that are on Main Street are spread out, and only the most adventurous of visitors will walk or drive the entire stretch.

There is a design task force discussing appropriate signage and some way to provide cohesion to the hodgepodge of architecture in Payson. This visual move is a first, and very important, step.

The next step is the creation of the pedestrian experience we spoke of earlier. Main Street is full of unmarked history. That history could be marked in such a way as to lead walkers from one plaque to another. This has already been done in front of the Sidles Mud House.

Much work has been done and more is planned for Main Street.

Main Street is already being well-utilized for special events like the Classic Car Show in April and the October celebration of Payson's 125th anniversary.

Main Street is a gathering place, but only on special occasions.

We believe Main Street can be the link that connects one side of Payson to the other and the linchpin for this town's future economic development.

On March 31, all ideas are up for discussion at the Focused Future II Retreat. There will be ears ready to listen if you are ready to speak up.

The day begins at 7:30 a.m. and continues through noon. The event is free, but pre-registration is necessary. To register, stop by APS at 400 W. Longhorn Road for registration materials, call Ann Henley at (928) 474-7627, or e-mail

Commenting has been disabled for this item.