What’s so special about Lovelock? It’s a little town of about 2,500 people in the Nevada desert. Smack-dab between the “metropolis” of Fernley -- pop. 19,193, and Winnemucca, pop. 8,002, where travelers turn north to Twin Falls, Idaho. Reno/Sparks, the closest "big city," is about 90 miles west.
Let me tell you -- travelers who pass up Lovelock for pit stops in larger places don’t know what they’re missing. I sure didn’t!
At first glance, it doesn't appear there's much to see. The gas station/convenience store combo is right at the end of the I-80 off-ramp, and face it – that’s usually why we leave the interstate in the first place, right?
Luckily, I’m not a typical traveler. I like to stretch my legs a little when I stop, plus I’ve hit the stage where too much road food makes for a rumbling tummy and a sleepless night.
So I asked the clerk at the c-store if there was a grocery store or bakery in town. There was, and SO MUCH more! I got an earful of ideas from the clerk, and that was just the beginning.
The little – by city folk standards – grocery store has a respectable bakery and an equally as friendly staff as the c-store.
“Did you know there’s an ice cream shop down the street a bit? And they have a coffee bar there, too. Too bad you missed the museum – if you stay over, you can see it tomorrow.”
It turned out Temptations had healthy food and snack options and a comfy seating area, too, and, if I’d called ahead, I could have even scheduled a special museum tour of my own. There’s also a historic courthouse and train depot, the Lovelock Caves, ghost towns, recreation, and more.
See what’s happening here? Lovelock does it RIGHT! Everywhere I went, someone had a suggestion or idea for something else I could see or do. I had no idea – I’d passed up Lovelock myself dozens of times, in too big a hurry to bother to stop.
In just 2 square miles, Lovelock packs “3 public parks, a skateboard park, a community swimming pool, a hospital, elementary, middle, and high schools, a public library, a community center, and many businesses ranging from feed stores to casinos.” The town capitalizes on its name with Lock Your Love, taking Nevada weddings to a whole new level, literally, with a Lovers Aloft hot-air balloon weekend and other unique romantic options.
As you can see by all the links, they don’t hide their light under a bushel basket, either. It’s easy to find Lovelock online, with not only the city’s website but also the county Chamber of Commerce site, and up-to-date Facebook pages.
And the best part? Enjoying Lovelock’s offerings isn’t just on their terms -- they make it convenient for visitors.
Take a closer look at Lovelock. They’re doing it right.
When we were kids, my dad always stressed the importance about shopping our local neighborhoods. He grew up in Roseville, Ca. when it was still considered a small town. All the merchants knew most everybody in town, and they also knew what all the neighboring stores carried.
He always said it was Okay to shop around, and go elsewhere, but to still remember all that our dollars provided for right there.
At the time, I wasn’t old enough to appreciate the lessons he was teaching.
But I am now!
When you Shop Local, you are doing so much more than just supporting a business. YOU are directly supporting local charities, sports teams, service clubs (Boy Scouts & Girl Scouts, 4-H etc.) VFWs, churches, schools, parks, apprentice programs, community centers, the swimming pool, the Ambulance and Fire departments. You are providing seating in the parks and benches and flowers on Main Street. You are providing senior services and concerts in the park. You are providing a Chamber of Commerce and city benefits.
~Yes~ I know some business owners think they are entitled to your business. You can read about that here.
There are so many ways that YOUR local dollars flow through the community that you never even see. It is doubly true in small and rural communities. It’s the tips the local waitress just used to get gas at the corner station. It’s the paycheck that let the gas station attendant by school clothes for his kids at the local department store. It’s the extra money in the plate on Sunday. It is the donations to all manner of local causes and charities.
You get the idea.
So, before you take all your dollars to the ‘big city’ or the ‘box store’ three towns over, take a moment and see if some of those dollars can be spent right in your own community.
Your community needs you!
Visiting the Roseville area? This site has tons of info on history, things to do, places to stay, where to eat etc.
We are rural and small town/small business advocates, speakers and writers. We believe many of these towns can grow from within using the resources they already have and leverage that to attract new families and businesses and customers. Do you want Tait and Kate to come speak to your group or community?? Email us and let us know - firstname.lastname@example.org
You may not have a great, big beautiful train right in the center of your downtown like Harvey, N.D., does, but ask yourself: What does your community have? What do you have that will make people want to stop, look, get out of their cars, stay a while, and walk around?
Do you have a park where families can have a picnic, play games, and relax? Is there anywhere to grab a bite, pick up snacks, or buy a souvenir? Are you near a lake or campground, or other recreation venue?
Take advantage of what you have! Show off your best assets — or better yet, team up with others on your block or in your community. Pool your resources to promote all you have to offer.
Are they buying sunblock? Maybe they’ll want bug spray, too. Visiting the lake? Did you know there’s a neat little museum on the way? It’s just a few blocks off of Main Street, and you can see the marker at the courthouse, too — there’s a great story behind that one. Or stop by the co-op for ice cream — sure would taste great on a hot day like this!
If you don’t have it, know who does and send them that way. The longer they stay and play, the more they’ll spend. And that’s good for everyone.
Give people a reason to stop. When they do, show them a friendly, helpful place that invites them to come back and bring their friends with them!
The “Shop Local” movement is wonderful. It has done so much and brought tons of awareness and added sales for so many businesses and communities, especially small & rural towns.
Having lived and traveled all over this great big United States, I have spentmuch time in very small towns. Over the years- long before “shop local” and “shop small” became catch phrases, I noticed that a considerable amount of shop owners seem to think they are entitled to your business.
Do not make the mistake that just because you may be the only such-and-such in xyz town, that the good folks have to shop with you.
~Nothing could be further from the truth~
UPS, FedX, USPS are our friends along with Amazon, EBay & Etsy and a whole host of other options that are Not YOU. There are neighboring towns or we may just chose to save our purchase for the next trip to the city and spend ALL of our dollars there.
People are not obligated to shop with you just because you have a business. You have to earn it.
But if you are friendly and helpful, even when you don’t have what we need, we will remember and patronize you regularly.
Try to remember that even in a small town, the people who live there do not owe you a living. It’s up to you to make us want to shop there. You have to earn it. And it will repay you ten-fold.
Annette & Kate
If it involves small towns, rural, business or people, we write about it. Both the good and the bad. Part of our passion is helping you be the best you can be.