Ridgway residents protest plans for Family Dollar store in town
MONTROSE — As Family Dollar customers shopped in Montrose on Monday morning, a group of Ridgway residents picketed outside, protesting the discount store’s plans to open a similar store in the mountain community.
“We just don’t think in a beautiful mountain village there should be a presence from these big-box stores,” Ridgway resident and business owner Susan Baker said.
Baker, a 20-year resident of Ridgway, said there already are Family Dollar stores in Montrose, Olathe and Delta, and that an overwhelming majority of Ridgway residents oppose the idea.
Months ago, Family Dollar submitted plans to build an 8,000-square-foot store in a vacant lot between Subway and a hotel on the east side of U.S. Highway 550.
Since then, hundreds of emails in opposition have flooded the discount chain, and a petition amassing more than 400 signatures is expected to be presented to the Ridgway Town Council. Those signatures equal approximately half of the town’s population, and Baker said the number is expected to grow.
“If we speak out loud enough, we might be able to make a difference,” Baker said.
Baker and fellow resident Vicci Spencer said they are not opposed to growth, but they think Family Dollar is not a good fit for the community. Baker said the store’s plans do not include the use of local labor; a company from Utah would be hired.
Last month, a similar retailer abandoned plans to build a store in Palisade, citing poor business estimates as the reason for the decision. Dollar General was planning to build a 9,200-square-foot store on a roughly one-acre site north of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and west of Main Street.
Calls seeking comment from Family Dollar corporate headquarters were not returned Tuesday. Calls seeking comment from members of the Ridgway Town Council were not returned, either.