Community View | Opportunity is knocking

When I moved to Kingman 42 years ago I joined the men’s softball league. At that time this league played its games in the parking lot of the Mohave County Fairgrounds facility.

Fortunately for Kingman, the city council and community leaders had a vision for the future and invested in a major project to benefit Kingman and its residents. That project was Centennial Park.

Although I’m sure there were naysayers who felt it was a waste of money or the money was needed for other projects, the council had the foresight to approve this massive project.

They acquired the initial 30 acres (and later 10 more acres were added), then went ahead to build what has become the centerpiece of recreational activities for the residents of Kingman. This project not only has improved the quality of life for our residents, it has also made Kingman more attractive to businesses, young professionals and families looking to relocate.

Due to that commitment 40-plus years ago we have enjoyed the use of a quality swimming pool, basketball, tennis, racquetball and pickleball courts. In addition there are soccer fields and little league diamonds for our children, as well as running paths, playgrounds and picnic areas.

Furthermore, Centennial Park has one of the finest softball complexes in the region. This complex has hosted over 100 national, state, regional and local tournaments. Each tournament has brought hundreds of players, their families and friends to Kingman to fill our hotels, frequent our restaurants, and visit our retail stores, thus providing an economic boost for our town.

I personally and many other Kingman residents of several generations are grateful to those previous leaders for their initiative and foresight regarding this investment in our community.

Once again opportunity for another success story is knocking at our door and once again it will take thinking in the long-term to seize it.

The completion of the previously approved downtown development project is one such opportunity. Looking to the future, this project will provide an entertainment district that will offer music, restaurants, concerts, festivals, shops, a playhouse theater, and perhaps an occasional date night out.

As with Centennial Park, the improved downtown will attract new businesses, young professionals, and, in conjunction with our Route 66 theme, will draw increased national and international tourism to our town.

This enterprise may even encourage more of our recent graduates to stay in Kingman and help our town grow and prosper.

I hope we are able to recognize the potential of this project and its resulting increase in our town’s quality of life, attractiveness to visitors and future residents, and the increased revenue it will bring into the city coffers which can be used for recurring needs throughout the city.

(William Skowronek is a resident of Kingman.)

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