GOLDEN VALLEY - Petitions for a grocery store in Golden Valley recently have popped up in 16 stores and businesses throughout the area.
"People are enthusiastic about this," said Don Copen, who lives in nearby Crystal Springs. "They want a store here. If you look around, there's everything but that in Golden Valley. If there was a grocery store here, people would definitely shop in it."
Copen and a friend, Dan Richardson of Golden Valley, began posting the petitions to raise public interest in the idea. They plan to present the signatures to the corporate offices of Safeway, Smith's and Bashas' grocery stores.
Currently, the Golden Valley area has several convenience stores but no grocery stores. Residents must drive 15-20 miles one way to shop at the five grocery stores in Kingman.
Copen said the trip is hot during the summer and traffic on Stockton Hill Road, where all but one of the stores are located, has worsened as new businesses have sprung up there.
Copen said he has contacted Mohave County Supervisor Joy Brotherton and Bennett Bratley, acting director for the Mohave County Economic Development Department, for help with the project.
Bratley said he supports most commercial growth in Golden Valley and his agency would be available as a source of information and a guide to a prospective grocery store as it goes through the planning, zoning, permitting and economic development process.
"I'm a firm believer that anything is possible if you have the right developer, property and can be heard by the right audience," said Bratley. "It's all based on demographics, and the market has to be there. I think the grocery stores should look into it, because there's a need in Golden Valley."
According to the U.S. Census Bureau State and County Quickfacts, the population in Golden Valley was 8,370 in 2010. There were 4,342 housing units, with 86.4 percent owning with a median value of $98,000.
The median household income from 2007 to 2011 was $36,714, with 15.6 percent of the area's population below the poverty level. A total of 77.8 percent of the population has a high school diploma.
Brotherton said Golden Valley had a mom-and-pop grocery store named Ranch Market in the late 1970s and early 1980s with two locations, but they closed after the big grocery stores opened in Kingman and the economy turned sour. Brotherton said she would like to see a similar store take up residence in Golden Valley, which she represents.
"I really want to support the people in Golden Valley however they want to go, but at this point I'm just not sure we can get any of the big stores to come there," said Brotherton. "I think they'd do better with a mom-and-pop grocery store. The residents need something out there, because the area is growing and there are a lot more families. I hope that if a big store doesn't take notice of this effort, a smaller grocery store will."
Petitions are located in a number of businesses, including C&S Auto Supply, Valley Medical Center, Upsy Daisy Mail Service, Castle Rock Event Center, Northwest Liquidators and Golden Eagle Real Estate in Golden Valley; Mohave Rancho Lumber in Dolan Springs and Yesterday's Restaurant in Chloride.
For more information, call Copen at (928) 565-7406.
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