Bristol Virginia Loses More Retail

by Lewis Loflin

As the Bristol Virginia-Tennessee retail wars rage on, Bristol Virginia loses another business to Bristol Tennessee's Pinnacle development. Outback Steakhouse will relocate from Bristol Virginia's Exit 7 to a new 6497 square-foot facility at The Pinnacle. This is the latest blow for Bristol Virginia that has gone over $100 million in debt and is nearly bankrupt underwriting retail development, in particular The Falls retail development at I81 Exit 5 centered on a Cabela's store.

Cabela's was bought out by Bass Pro Shop the anchor store at The Pinnacle. Its future is uncertain. In addition the Bristol Virginia Mall has nearly emptied out. Sears has closed and Parks Belk jumped I-81 for The Pinnacle in Bristol, Tennessee. The Bristol Mall once sold for between $10-$15 million was sold to the recent owners for $2.6 million. They are struggling to find some way to keep it open. In addition at I-81 Exit 7 they lost a Pizza Hut and a Ruby Tuesday along with several other stores on Linden Drive. Bristol Virginia Kmart also closed its doors in 2016.

And Bristol politicians are wondering why the public is so angry as they won't fund their schools. Spending over $650,000 for a fake waterfall for Cabela's illustrates how insane they have become. Bristol Virginia has now got the proud designation of being number 130/133 of having among the worst health outcomes in Virginia. Reference Bristol Herald Courier March 21, 2017.

See Bristol Residents Paying $650,000 for Cabela's Fake Waterfall

While they plan to spend $650,000 on a fake waterfall the Bristol Herald Courier (May 17, 2017) they are cutting 10 firefighters and close a fire station. This will save $650,000 and help balance the City budget. Coincidence?

Update: Bristol Virginia will be firing firemen after public opposition

More on the region

Tobacco Commission Sykes Fiasco Reveals Government Waste

To quote how the Tobacco Commission operates in 2010,

"To date we've seen about 350 Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund (TROF) transactions as it appears today in your book on page 53. Forty percent of those that have come to us and the deal never makes it.

Localities go through the dance, make applications, you approve it and send it all up and for whatever reason it never happens. Of those that do happen and are disbursed, about half of them deliver what they promise.

The other half either repaid some money because they fell short or they negotiate some relief or they flat out default on their obligations. These are not good numbers but I want you to know that this is what's happened in the TROF program but its gotten better..."


Then Gov. now Senator Warner and VCEDA in 2005 is typical:

VCEDA approved three loans and eight grants totaling more than $2.2 million. New announcements in the region, including AOL/Virtus Marketing in Norton, Blue Ridge Wood Products in Bluefield, Southwest Logistics in Wise and Midpaco in Duffield, will create nearly 500 new jobs with a $7.3 million investment.

All of these have failed in some cases in just months after opening. Nowhere near 500 new jobs ever existed and the money disappeared.