About Utah: Heber City and paying the steep price of progress

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  • sherlock holmes Eastern, UT
    Aug. 6, 2014 8:03 a.m.

    What about the tanker truck traffic on Hwy 40? Surprised there isn't talk of a bypass route of some sort...

  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 1:06 p.m.

    Midwest Mom:

    You have the driver wrong. I own the stock because I like the value that WalMart creates. I don't like WalMart because I own the shares. Your thinking is perhaps well meaning, but backwards.

    Cars put buggy makers out of business, and blacksmith shops also went away, etc. These previously high value jobs became low value. It isn't any different with local merchants. WalMart can deliver milk, eggs, root beer, flour, green beans, paper plates, pharmaceuticals, etc. for less cost than anyone else. Their distribution centers, information management, scale, scope, vendor partnerships, etc. are the key. Wages for low-skilled workers does not drive the advantage. They actually pay more than most of their competitors, or the workers wouldn't work there. 30 years ago I worked at a convenience store as a student - and that job didn't pay much then either.

    I'll answer your question: Want your community to flourish? Let the most efficient businesses flourish. Get out of their way. Educate your children. Teach them to work hard and keep their skills current. Teach them how to innovate and manage risk. And teach them to be honest, fair and realistic.

    Best wishes.

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    Aug. 4, 2014 10:52 p.m.

    Ah, carman, I was close. You do have a vested interest in promoting.

    Wal-Mart is cheap because Wal-Mart exploits desperate workers. I don't shop there. Some of you may call me liberal. I prefer progressive--a proud tradition here in Wisconsin. But whatever you call me, I try to live what I believe.

    It isn't hard to avoid Wal-Mart when you think about the money you spend staying in your community, rather than being sucked out into the pockets of people who already have more than their share.

    Want your community to flourish? Do your business locally. Big box stores are a big drag on the economy. Eventually, you realize that drag is on you, too.

  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 9:49 p.m.

    To Buzzards:

    So you are not a segment that WalMart targets. They target those who want maximum product for the lowest price. People in this segment may be frugal, value money more than time, gain utility from paying less (or experience stress when paying more) for the same item, etc., etc. Please do not extrapolate your own preferences to the country as a whole.

    A couple of statistics that might help you see how much U.S. consumers appreciate WalMart. 8% of all U.S. retail sales, or 8 cents out of every dollar spent are spent at a WalMart. For families making less than $40,000/yr, 42% of these families total retail purchases are made at WalMart. The American consumer has voted WalMart the most important retail store in the country - not with emotion and hyperbole, but with their wallets.

    My point is this: WalMart is the most successful retailer the world has ever known because the provide the most goods, at the lowest total cost. Gripe about the experience if you like, but I appreciate our local WalMart.

    p.s. I am not an associate, but I am a shareholder. If you eat food, you should own WalMart shares too.

  • SLC Grandma Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 7:08 p.m.

    I'll always think of Heber with fondness, going on rides up the canyon on horses rented from Luke's Hot Pots and swimming in the mineral pool - now that's a REALLY long time ago (in the late 30's and mid 40's); going to the Swiss Days celebrations; and having a picnic lunch at the little rest stop by the bridge over the river north of Heber while my girl friend's father fished in the stream that ran parallel to the highway. Those were peaceful, get-away-from-the-city times that will live happily in my memories.

  • runnerguy50 Virginia Beach, Va
    Aug. 4, 2014 7:06 p.m.

    The picture of Wal mart creates a very poor image of Heber.

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 3:00 p.m.

    @mikeylikesit - Wow, that's great. Acknowledged that there are poor fans no matter where you go things in Lehi were certainly less concerning than in Heber (and Grantsville and Morgan and Roosevelt). Lehi was the big dog in a small pond for a bunch of years in the 1980s, the larger 2A school in the region. That led to much dislike from opposing fans. I've been on numerous school busses that had to be police escorted out of town due to local fans menacing and threatening the bus and the students on it. I've had more than one such experience in Heber City. And I like Heber. I have friends from Heber. In 10+ years of being associated with Lehi High School I saw only one time that fans got too much. The local police always had a presence at school sporting events and maintained the peace. As for treatment of referees, that will be a problem no matter where you go; fist fights have ensued elsewhere but I don't recall anything like that in Lehi or in Heber.

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 2:46 p.m.

    @Mikey - I'll also submit having seen completely reprehensible behavior on even the golf course, at school meets, by Wasatch players (and the other schools I named in my previous comment). These were even kids of respected citizens. Add that to limited reasoning even on matters of church (Lake Creek recreational property) by the county commission and things have been bad between these towns for a really long time. And I think it's a shame that Heber is now experiencing the growth that northern Utah Valley saw 15 years ago and all the problems that come along with it. The grass isn't always greener.

  • Kora Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 1:47 p.m.

    If Wal-Mart is so inefficient and horrible, why do people shop there? Wal-Mart only exists because they provide a service people want that they were not getting elsewhere. If the local businesses were sufficient for the locals and had good prices, why are they now going to Wal-Mart instead?

    I bet most people who rail against Wal-Mart, which seems to be every liberal, shop there unless they are wealthy. All these towns decry Wal-Mart coming in, but why? If the majority oppose Wal-Mart, and I suspect thusly only shop at the local businesses, how does Wal-Mart survive and the small businesses fail?

  • Mikeylikesit Davis, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 1:11 p.m.

    "Johnny T"
    First let me assure you that the feeling was mutual. Lehi fans have always been the bain of Utah County. Having been a basketball official for many years, an assignment to Lehi was always going to be a trial in patience and concern for self, visiting fans and players. Your determination of our "hick town" is mild considering our realization of your fans and players as self grandizing and originating from the arm pit of Utah County. I've been there and experienced your lack of class, sorry to burst your bubble, we were glad when you left town too.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Aug. 4, 2014 1:07 p.m.

    I have it on good authority that a good 55% of the high rank given Heber City was due to the Dairy Keen's milkshake menu.

  • Buzzards LEHI, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 1:06 p.m.

    @ carman: I realize this is an article about Heber City and not WalMart. But whatever efficiency WalMart has achieved in distribution, they have lost in forcing their customers to stand in line for 20 minutes. That's not very efficient on my part, and part of the reason that I rarely set foot inside a WalMart.
    BTW, I enjoy Heber a lot. One of our favorite family drives is over Guardsman's Pass then down into Midway and Heber for lunch. A wonderful way to get out of the big city for a few hours.

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 12:59 p.m.

    Heber City is the definition of "what could've been." Throughout the west, small towns manage to retain their characters not by stifling development, but by making it conform to some basic guidelines. Heber sold out and surrendered. Auto parts stores, Walgreen's, Taco Bell and McDonalds -- all just like every other town's -- except placed sideways on too-small lots. Tearing down old homes on Main, across from our city park(!) - to expand a car lot, instead of helping it relocate near others in the blighted acres on south Main. Allowing subdivisions to fill all corridors that could've been used to re-route heavy truck traffic around town -- and avoid nonsensical intersections. Allowing WalMart to break promises. Just go back look at sketches in the local paper of what was proposed to convince voters. But hey, we have 30 new min-wage (government-supported) jobs, 88-cent socks - and Café Rio and Kneaders, so it was worth it.

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 12:28 p.m.

    I laugh at the statement in the article about excellent schools 30 years ago. 25 - 30 years ago Lehi played against Wasatch High School. It was a hick town then and it showed in the school. Visiting sports teams felt threatened by the crowd and we couldn't wait to leave. I'm sure things have changed there recently with the influx of people.

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    Aug. 4, 2014 12:10 p.m.

    Big Bird is right. Carman sounds like an "associate."

  • ImABeliever Provo, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 12:06 p.m.

    To: Carman: your statement; We should celebrate WalMart. They are the essence of American ingenuity and efficiency. WalMart is efficient? Really? You must shop at a different WalMart!

  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 10:41 a.m.

    To Big Bird,

    WalMart is fantastic. They free millions of Americans from the mundane tasks of distributing groceries and other sundries. Instead, because WalMart does these tasks so efficiently, we can spend time doing things that are much more valuable, and keep more of our hard-earned money.

    The key is not to get emotional and shout that WalMart is running small shops out of town - by definition these businesses are not competitive. Instead, we need to focus on education and training that will allow our labor force to engage in more value-added activities.

    We should celebrate WalMart. They are the essence of American ingenuity and efficiency. They have saved consumers countless billions of dollars on things that we all need: food, pharmaceuticals, back-to-school supplies, etc., etc. We all benefit from the lower gas prices, lower food prices, etc. that WalMart forces by their incredible efficiency.

    Instead of complaining about it, celebrate it. Then let's focus on training and education so that otherwise less productive people can be more productive, and have a higher standard of living and better quality of life.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Aug. 4, 2014 10:22 a.m.


    Why do you hate capitalism?

  • Big_Bird West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 10:05 a.m.


    Wal-Mart is a plague! They are destroying "small town America" one indifferent shopper at a time. All the local businesses will go under, and soon you will have no choice but to shop at Wal-Mart.

    Wal-Mart doesn't play fair. When you don't allow them in your city limits, they build right outside of the city limits.... people will still flock there, and the city in which they live, will not collect the taxes!

    Good luck small business owners, I hope that "Heber Valley UnPlugged" will help keep you in business!

  • LivinLarge Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 9:49 a.m.

    I have a home in Bountiful, Brighton and San Diego (Del Mar). I sold my business a few years ago and looked at a 20 acre spread in Heber City. After spending a few days with a realtor I could not connect with Heber...it was stale and seemed like a small city pretending to have all the amenities. It is not a city of beautiful homes and gardens, it's more like a struggling poor man's Park City. Walmart seems to be its crowning achievement, it's NOT!

  • Mikeylikesit Davis, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 9:38 a.m.

    I drove thru the place of my birth (62 yrs ago)and my home until 1989, this last weekend and found it unrecognizable. About 50% of the homes and yards are a mess! How sad such a beautiful place is so unkempt and seemingly unappreciated. Heber City needs to break out the old beautification programs of the past and enforce them. This community used to be a great source of pride for now deceased members my family, I'm sure they see this lack of pride in where we live, just as deplorable as I do. I call upon Mayor McDonald and the council to take whatever action they can to clean up Heber City. Let's restore "Beautiful Heber Valley, Paradise of the Rockies" to it's former place of pride and appreciation.

  • Mamamama Salt lake city, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 8:34 a.m.

    I have stated this before but having semi trucks speeding right through town is not a good thing. Main street Heber hasn't been quaint for a very long time. Colorado and Montana have towns that aren't just lined with strip malls. Some of the older neighborhoods have been trashed by the residents. Heber valley's views, the lakes, Provo River etc are beautiful though.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 6:32 a.m.

    I remember my Dad telling me about his experiences while going to BYU in the early 1030s of going to the Heber valley to take samples of the cows milk from the many dairies up there. He loved the valley and the people there. That type of work in the milk business helped him have a steady job with Morning Milk Company in Salt Lake City and in Wellsville and meeting my mother at her father's dairy in Utah valley. Heber City has a Wal-Mart the definition of small town America?