This letter was sent to the Fergus Falls Daily Journal recently, you can find the original link here. Christian is not alone in his situation, we have heard from people all across the country (Hawaii and Kansas just to mention a couple) asking if there is anything they can do to help save the RTC. They know of Fergus Falls because of the Regional Treatment Center and thousands have taken the time to visit this incredible resource. Each visitor is money in the bank for the community and that is worth considering in and of itself.
Dear city of Fergus Falls, last summer I visited your town. I ate in your local restaurants, shopped in your grocery stores and gas stations, and stayed in your motels. I drank coffee in your local coffee house and met the wonderful people of your town.
I have no relatives in the area, it’s not on my way to anywhere, nor do I have any business or personal reason to be there.
It wasn’t the town, shops nor the people that led me to Fergus Falls. I would not have made the 20-hour drive for the businesses nor the accomodations. It has never been on my list of cities I have to visit.
And although I would return to Fergus Falls again and I would visit these same places, it wasn’t, and is not my reason for visiting.
The whole purpose of me visiting your town and doing business there revolves around a beautiful one-of-a-kind marvel of turn-of-the-century architecture known as the RTC.
I am not alone in this. Thousands have walked your streets and partook of your local economy for the same reason … from all over the country.
Without this structure, I would never have traveled to your town. Many others would feel the same way.
It seems the debate is over the economics of keeping the landmark. Well, if it matters, my contribution to the commerce of Fergus Falls is directly related to the survival of this building. I am sure many would agree.
I would never have known what your people were like, that your downtown coffeehouse makes a mean mocha. I would have never known that the Italian restaurant next to the old movie theater made delicious food that was affordable. I never would have stayed at the cleanest Red Roof Inn in the midwest (that I am aware of).
I also would not have realized the wonderful slice of Americana that is the surrounding landscapes and towns leading into Fergus Falls.
I realize my opinions are not based on taxpayer dollars, nor do I have a plan to redevelop the RTC, but I am a visitor, one of many.
I am a Friend of the Kirkbride.
City Spring Lake, Mich.
Reposted with permission from Christian VanAntwerpen.