He was one of the first people I met in Staunton on my first visit here, but now Brandon is leaving town. Where's he going? Charlottesville.
I have two problems with this.
- Brandon is the best bartender in Staunton (no offense to all the other bartenders out there, but he is). He cares about the trade, and knows about the product. Brandon would be an amazing rep for a liquor brand or a vineyard. People as good as him usually graduate to being a wine rep, but I think he'd be better in PR than sales. Losing the best bartender in Staunton is unfortunate. It's bad for me; it's bad for the city.
- Charlottesville gets a lot of Staunton's intelligent young people. There aren't a ton of jobs here, and if you're professionally bored, it's one of the only close places to go. Staunton has the potential to keep people like Brandon, but there is still a contingent here that would like to see the city turn into a retirement community. Every time we lose a young person to Charlottesville, it feels like that contingent is winning. Staunton is constantly and precariously squatting on the fulcrum point between retirement community and a place that's totally rad and everyone will want to live in. It wants to be gray or vibrant. There are people vying for both. When someone like Brandon leaves, it turns a little grayer.
I am for the vibrant Staunton. I am always trying to talk more young people into living here. There are awesome things here that I think should turn on many younger people, but not much is being done to get them here.
Send us your young people and entrepreneurs, and Staunton will embrace you!
Forget about Charlottesville!