Pinecones & Cute Puppies in Fawnskin

There is nothing like a cute puppy to make you smile first thing in the morning–if you are not the owner that is. Sophie is a new resident to Fawnskin and belongs to Mike. She is a “chiweenie” (another rant about designer dogs will be done elsewhere) and very small at ten weeks of age–and barely bigger than a pinecone!

Speaking of pinecones…

I ambled down to the Pinecone Art Boutique and noticed that the decorative pine boughs were gone. Since Sharon was no where to be found, I took a gander through the window. The place is not quite together but has a few booths (loosely used term) and features some cabin decor such as those painted wood fish.

Many of the wood burned signs that were being sold in front of another building on the North Shore are displayed along with holiday tree decorations, cards, candles, and an assortment of many other things I could not see. Perhaps this will evolve into a real local artists cove but for now it looks mainly like a collection of different craft items.

I know there are many different artists who live here in Fawnskin and who have been hankering for a little artist’s mall. For now, I’ll just keep my fingers crossed!

Still no word from JP about the NS Tavern but speaking of business and other community buzz…this week’s NSIA Potluck included mention of establishing a Community College in the area–expanding from the limited classes now offered at the Big Bear High School.

Bringing any kind of academic facility would be a great thing but I am wondering if such an effort would attract students from only the mountain region or if it would provide unique credential programs to draw from down-the-hill (some people whine about driving up and down the hill as being a hardship).

My personal belief is that Big Bear has been too slow in changing the marketing efforts away from the ski resort and winter resort model into that of the four season resort.

Fortunately, there are many unique events offered as a draw but ask around–some merchants succeed with four season success–while others whine about the roller coaster ride.

Now being described as in the NY Times as the “least exclusive resort” in southern California is not exactly a badge of honor (although the headline conveys a more positive spin). However, the mention was priceless. But what I think this illustrates is how the identity of this community has not been conveyed clearly.

AND what exactly are the demographics of the types of visitors attracted to the valley? I’ve heard everything from “family friendly” resort to “poor man’s resort” from the mouths of business owners.

And then we have (insert *shudder*) the addition of a lot of franchises that take away the pristine mountain community image and make the valley just about like any town down-the-hill.

Sure we need services and supplies but come on–how about better planning while accepting additions? Take the new Walgreens–still a sore subject with locals because they destroyed slaughtered tons of trees on a parcel adjacent to the main boulevard.

Why did they do this when there is an excessive amount of other properties available on the main boulevard that contain empty or non-maintained buildings in prime locations?

Last week I ambled down Big Bear Boulevard with a pal down to get to a local restaurant–and we both had to use care because the cinders (thrown onto roads to help with traction during snow fall and icy conditions) were so bad on the sidewalk that we slipped on them. Some local merchants don’t seem to care about cleaning up the sidewalks in front of their businesses or in their driveways, while others do.

Did I mention that the cinders make the place look filthy and unkept?

BTW people, this is the first image people get on their way into this valley via the main drag.

So, what kinds of changes in the community do you want to see? Do you like the community college idea? What marketing ideas do you think would work to attract visitors year ’round? As a visitor–what are your impressions? Leave your comments below.

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2 Responses to “Pinecones & Cute Puppies in Fawnskin

  • 1
    Uncle Bill
    March 13th, 2008 11:12

    Why all the silly whining about the loss of trees in the Moonridge Triangle area? Do folks think that there were no pretty trees at one time where their homes now sit? Or where other businesses are now located? Get over it. What disgusts me is that those trees have been replaced with a Walgreens. Then again, the only other option would have probably been another big real estate office.

    I notice that the whole crew from the only independent pharmacy in Big Bear is moving over to the new Walgreens operation. That’s one way to win the hearts and minds of those who should be the most outraged.

    You folks in Fawnskin can still cling to the romantic notion of a ‘pristine mountain community’, but if you didn’t have a lake to buffer you from the south side’s train wreck of planning, there’d probably be a Walmart where the Fawn Lodge now rots away.

  • 2
    GG (Gossip Girl)
    March 13th, 2008 17:38

    @Uncle Bill: So, did you miss that the trees were illegally cut down? People are not against development just stupid development–such as Walgreens being built when there are many other pharmacies already servicing the valley…and the point is that this valley doesn’t want to be like just another town–umm, see anything wrong with a resort promoting itself without any lake access on the South Shore?
    The point is if the whole economy is based on tourism…any connection to over development and plummeting per cap?
    Just recently I had a client tell me she wants to pave over all her backyard–but they moved up here for the environment.
    Also, I remember when the Castle Glen area was eagle habitat. I heard that it was traded to a developer by the forestry service. Today, big homes (that sit empty about 95% of the time) and cement and asphalt rule–any wonder why the eagle counts are down?
    Fawnskin folk live here because they don’t want to live over on the other side. A lack of tax base here and red tape miles long keeps business owners from being able to move forward–such as Fawn Lodge.
    Changing ownership usually just means nightmares and excessive amounts of red tape.
    Look at the year long delay of the Fawnskin Market–hoops and more hoops–when the place was allowed to operate when it was a stinking mess.
    You probably have not talked to the Fawnskin Chamber whose members want to see more business activity and traffic.
    Then you have the local reps who advised that the street lights be taken out (instead of finding ways to fund them) because there wasn’t enough funds to keep them on–makes you wonder.
    Finally, Friends of Fawnskin actually works to make sure the letter of the law is followed–so development is reasonable AND legal. We don’t want trees slaughtered as happened for Walgreens…check back tomorrow for my comments on the eagle tree that was just dropped.