Main Street Growth Building A Foundation For The Future


The pulse of Main Street in Payson is getting stronger all the time.

A tremendous anchor complex is coming to Main Street, though the date of the opening may be a few years away.


Business growth along Main Street has not detracted from the sleepy, small-town atmosphere that makes activities in the old part of town so charming. Residents and visitors can enjoy good food and refreshments, a movie, antique shopping, dancing, get car repairs, buy new audiovisual toys and treat themselves to a spa experience.

Mike Amon's now-vacant property at 417 W. Main St. will be turned into a restaurant and indoor shopping experience.

Residents will be able to visit different stores and shops without leaving the building. The property is around the middle of other Main Street businesses, and the building would be two stories high.

Carol McCauley, manager of the Main Street Program, said this project's location would attract local people and tourists to the other shops on the street as well.

Main Street is more than just the shops and buildings, it also tells the history of one of the longest streets in town.

"The Main Street Program and our Main Street is to create a community development area," she said.

McCauley mentioned the historic plaques that are up and down the street as a piece of history that is being told to people that are visiting.

"There may be dirt in (some) places, but important things happened there," she said, mentioning Main Street once had a post office and bowling alley along with many other things.

The rodeo was also once held on this street, she added.

"Main Street is our history, and this is our historical preservation," she said. "This area here is very important of what is historic about Main Street."

She mentioned the Pieper's Saloon on Bootleg Alley where residents gathered to protect themselves from Indian attacks.

She said the entire progress of the town once was centered all around Main Street, and mentioned its past history will probably never be the same.

The Piepers, she mentioned, controlled .88 acres, which includes the mud house -- the oldest building in Payson -- and their mansion. Another owner added the red cottages next to the mud house.

One of the most well-known businesses on the street is the Oxbow Saloon, which is the only building on the National Historic Registry list.

The Main Street Program manager said businesses on the popular street cannot survive on tourism alone and need the community to visit the shops and businesses.

She said the businesses could be able to survive on tourism in certain seasons.

"Tourism is wonderful, but it has to be icing on the cake. It needs to be a place where the community will come."

The Green Valley Park, she said, is an icon for both the Town of Payson and Main Street.

McCauley said most of the buildings on Main Street were built with wood, as this product was plentiful at the time.

Buildings like the Wicks Auto Service, which was not built with wood, is still in great condition.

She also said there are a lot of unique shops, mentioning Gasoline Alley as a antique shop that has a little bit of everything for everyone.

She said the goal is to make Main Street thrive like it once did.

"Main Street is finally coming into what it is going to become," McCauley said.

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