• 37°

First impressions critical to success

You only get one chance to make a first impression. We've all heard it for years. Those words have resonated through our heads countless times during such first-time meetings as job interviews, first dates, important meetings and other lifetime milestones.

But too often, we think of the phrase in terms of the individual. We should be thinking in terms of community.

This weekend, thousands and thousands of visitors will flood into the county for the annual Ironton-Lawrence County Memorial Day Parade.

We need to treat each one as though they were the most special person in the world.

Think about it. Our community is lucky to have events such as the longstanding parade and all of its related events and now new events such as the Gus Macker tournament and Rally on the River.

We're all busy. Time is short everywhere. So each time a person carves out some of their free time and decides to spend it in our community, we should be thrilled.

Further, we should be gracious hosts and go out of our way to help the visitors feel at home.

Last weekend, for example during the Gus Macker tournament, we heard a number of locals grumbling about the traffic in downtown. These same folks will also lament that business isn't good and that we need more jobs.

Hello, did anyone hear that? A person coming here for a visit is economic development. Last weekend, those several thousand visitors added thousands and thousands of dollars to the Ironton economy. But somehow, not everyone seems to see the good in that.

This weekend is yet another chance to roll out the red carpet and make the place welcoming for outsiders.

Our community must change its mindset a little bit. Tourism may not bring the traditional economic development "look" with smokestacks and large industries, but its dollars spend just the same.

We just need to keep focused on making sure those dollars keep coming back, year after year.