Recovery slow after Garrettsville fire

Recovery slow after Garrettsville fire

GARRETTSVILLE, Ohio (WYTV) – It has been seven months since a large fire struck downtown Garrettsville. A dozen businesses were destroyed and the town is still struggling to recover.

But even with an entire block of town gone, the scenery of Garrettsville is nothing short of idyllic. The trees that were bare when the March fire clawed through the town are now bursting with color as the leaves make their way to the ground.

Like the trees, the town has seen a world of change in the past seven months, but businesses aren’t sharing in the rebirth. There has been a marked decrease in foot traffic in the town.

“There was a lot of tourism. A lot of people who came from the surrounding counties and even further away to check out the neat little shops,” said Brandi Wiles-Evans, owner of Second Style. “Saturday’s customers are the same customers you see on Tuesday and there are a lot fewer of them.”

Business owners say before the fire it was difficult to even find a parking spot on the weekend.

Nick Ehlert tends bar at Sean’s Pub. He said they still get a good crowd at dinnertime but during the day things are slow. Attorney Dann Timmons said it’s pretty much the same way for much of downtown.

“It is certainly not the same for them,” Timmons said. “We are fortunate we found another office right on Main Street and didn’t lose a lot of business.”

Timmons’ law office was one of 12 businesses that burned in the fire. He said much of what was lost was priceless.

“Right above my office was an auditorium where President McKinley and President Garfield both spoke,” Timmons said.

Everyone in town remains optimistic that things will turn around and the area will get up and running again with time.The community group Garrettsville Strong, that was founded to help raise money to rebuild the downtown, is still very active. Several events are coming up this month. For more information, click here.

 

33 WYTV provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s