Scott HughesYou may have noticed by now that there’s a theme to this issue of our newsletter, and it’s that smart people, places and things make for a smart community.

And while I’m a port commissioner, my wife and I also own two businesses in downtown Ridgefield. So when thinking about this concept of being “smart,” my perspective naturally turns to fostering that ideal through successful entrepreneurship.

One thing I do know that distinguishes the fate of an entrepreneur is the ability (or inability) to recognize – and seize – an opportunity when it appears. A new opportunity has come knocking on the door of our community, and its name is Ilani.

The casino has reported that more than 10,000 people are spending time at its facility each day. It’s reasonable to assume those people aren’t all from North Clark County. That means there are a lot of people driving by Ridgefield every day, and probably folks coming from the north, too.

Anecdotal conversations tell me that some area businesses are already noticing an uptick at their cash registers, as increased traffic brings increased business. But are all businesses taking proactive steps to benefit from this new economic potential? Are we lifting the proverbial hood on our current business model and tuning it up if necessary to capitalize on this “gift horse?” Are there new businesses that could spring forth to meet the demands of this new market? Is the market limited to tourism-related opportunity, or is there some other way to serve the needs of Ilani or its customers?

You don’t have to be an entrepreneur to benefit from an economically stronger Ridgefield. When more jobs are created for locals, and when more services and amenities exist – we all win.

It’s time for out-ofthe-box, smart thinking. Ready. Set. Go.