What businesses does Marion need?

Tuesday morning at the Marion Economic Development Inc. meeting, I was listening to other board members’ ideas of what kinds of businesses Marion needs to attract to developments along U.S. 56.

A common thread in the discussion was seeking businesses that would get drivers to pull off the highway, stop, and spend a bit of money in Marion — like an ice cream parlor and restaurant — or that would synergize with existing attractions such as the two lakes — like a boat or recreational vehicle dealership and repair shop.

Those are just a few ideas, and we’re always looking for more. If you have an idea for a business that could thrive in Marion, email me at adam@marionrecord.com. I’ll pass along any ideas to the rest of the MEDI board.

MEDI is also planning a more active information-gathering project. Surveys will be available at the Marion Classic basketball tournament later this year, seeking residents’ preferences about restaurants. What do you want to eat, and how do you want it to be served? The board plans to use the results of the survey to advise potential restaurateurs about what people are looking for.

The clear No. 1 in my eyes is a steakhouse, one that could attract diners from out of town. I’ve heard about the Kingfisher practically since before I arrived in Marion (incidentally, Tuesday was my five-year anniversary of working at the Marion County Record, my how time flies), and how pilots would fly into the airport just to eat there.

But I’m only one person, so fill out the survey in December, and let MEDI know what kinds of development you would like to see in town.

— ADAM STEWART

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