by Christian de Ryss, Member-at-Large and Brennen Jensen, Member-at-Large
In 1849, Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr wrote “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.” The more things change, the more they stay the same. Groveland’s demographics have been evolving since the 1800’s, but the reasons we come and stay remain the same. Quality of life, proximity to nature, and sense of community are common themes.
Who are we and why are we here? Two questions your 2021 Board of Directors asked as we develop a Strategic Plan to better serve our business community today and in the future. The process began last month with a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of our Highway 120/Groveland area business climate.
Strengths: Nature/Yosemite, easy access from NorCal metro areas, history/rustic character, low barriers to entry (residential and commercial), historically high tourism numbers, new developments in planning.
Weaknesses: Lack of affordable housing, difficulty in attracting/retaining skilled labor, many Main Street vacancies, lack of infrastructure as an unincorporated area without a common vision/plan.
Opportunities: 1.5+ million tourists annually, prime commercial locations along Hwy 120, new business potential in many categories, e.g., food, home improvement, lodging, family and pet care, and more based on our evolving demographics.
Threats: Inadequate law enforcement/emergency services resources, CA Hwy 120 as our Main Street, resistance to growth, diversity of constituents (e.g, downtown and rural businesses and residents, PML full-time and second homeowners, short-term rental owners and developers), infiltration of national franchises as Groveland is targeted as a major development opportunity.
Next steps are to define a vision and mission and to adopt an action plan. What do YOU want us to be? Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll keep you posted on this process.