In Elkin, there is a lack of facilities that offers physical entertainment. Many kids, young adults, and even some older adults love to go out and have fun with family and friends.
Of course, due to the fact that there is nothing to do, people have to go out of their way and drive an average of 30 minutes to find some form of a fun physical activity. The extra driving time and the cost of activities can be too much for some people.
When we asked younger people if they “would be interested in funding or supporting a new active facility,” many said they would be excited about something new to do.
Surprisingly, Elkin was not always an entertainment wasteland. When we asked people “what [they did] for fun around town when [they] were younger,” we got multiple responses like going out bowling, skating, and to the park.
There used to be skating, bowling, mini golf, and some arcades. These facilities were the places to go have fun until recently. These kid-friendly businesses were usually kept busy, but customers dropped off after mills and businesses began to shut down due to foreign competition and the Great Recession in 2008.
Mount Airy, Winston-Salem and Wilkesboro offer these same activities, but going to neighboring towns takes time and money many parents do not have. Leaving the local area for entertainment means the money associated with those activities leaves the area as well. That continues to add to the local decline as money is taken out of the small local economy.
It is upsetting to realize that when those businesses closed, there were bits and pieces of the area’s history lost. Young people growing up in Elkin and Jonesville may have imagined they would take their own children to these places, but that opportunity is lost.