One word… “Starbucks”

It is amazing what one word can do.

The other day a couple came into the visitors center and I could tell from the minute they walked in that they did not like our area and were having very negative thoughts about the area. The wife had a look on her face like she was visiting a pig farm or something.

They asked, “What in the world do you people do here?” I started telling them about the schools, the mine, Chase Creek,  and he would say things like, “Do you all live in these old torn up houses we see?”

I went on to tell them about how the homes in Clifton are being renovated, that we have beautifully restored hotels, and many delightful places to eat, that Freeport has brought in lots of homes for employees, and about our other communities.  I explained that the mine is the largest open pit copper mine and how we have many contractors in the area that have jobs at Freeport. 

The gentleman wanted to know how the employees could afford to feed their families with how few jobs there must be. I informed him that Freeport  pays well and that employees receive bonuses and incentives, and have a state-of-the-art million dollar fitness center, day care, 2 libraries in the area, bowling alley, movie theater… and I kept going because I wanted to let them know that Greenlee County is a great place to live. This went on for about 10 minutes. They would skeptically ask questions  and I would shoot right back with some positive information like that our football team has gone to the state tournament several times,that the high school band is quite talented,  that we have many churches of different denominations, and that the beautiful forest, just minutes away offer gorgeous settings for picnics and camping. 

Finally, the man said, “I am sorry if I offended you.” I said, “Sir  you really did! This is a great place with lots of really special people, high school students that score well on standardized tests and upon graduation, many receive scholarships to universities. I kept  going on and but I could tell that I hadn’t made an impression with the lady. Then I said, “We have Circle K, Bashes grocery store, Ace Hardware and a Starbucks. And that is when she saw Greenlee County in a different light!  The lady asked, “You have a Starbucks?”  And I said, “Yes, we do.”  Her face lit up, she smiled for the first time since she came in the door and started being friendly to me. 

If I would have used the magic word (Starbucks) in the beginning it would have saved a lot of time.  But I am glad I was able to tell them so many good things about us. And I am glad she was listening!

by Leslie Ray | GTA Board Member