A couple of days ago my wife and I made a trip to the beach. We drove up from Litchfield toward the south side of Myrtle Beach…..through miles and miles and miles of….generic, repetitous storefronts. It takes nearly an hour to drive the 30 or so miles, with stoplights and clogged arterials every few minutes. So much commercial excess, all about a mile’s distance from the timeless majesty of the seacoast.
That impression lingers as I read the story in today’s Charlotte OBSERVER business pages, explaining why the record profits in the energy sector may be topping out. It seems the same harsh logic applies to net revenues as to crude oil reserves–sooner or later, you just start to run low.
Whether we’re talking about the retail sprawl between Myrtle Beach and the Myrtle Burbs, or the tens of miles of explosive generic retailing around Charlotte, what is likely to follow after the boom plays itself out? Who’s left to pick up the pieces for good of the community? How do you efficiently recycle a dozen different Peppy Pizza franchises once they go underbelly up?
Do you see a happy, or at least an acceptable, ending to this story? I’d like to hear your thoughts. Just click on the comments button and leave me a note.