Living in Chocolatetown U.S.A. can be an interesting experience. An outsider comes to town and sees the streetlights shaped like Hershey Kisses and all the other little touches and thinks to themselves that this must be a great place to live. And, while it is a nice enough area, it does have its issues.
I’ve complained before about the wonderful world of tourist season in a tourist town without the infrastructure to really handle it. But, it goes beyond that. This may be the town that chocolate built, but it is the tourist czars at Hershey Entertainment and Resorts that truly hold sway in these parts. The real problem with having a company like that with so much influence and power around town is that they end to throw their weight around.
At the corner of Chocolate and Coca there was a small professional building/strip mall. There were only a few businesses there. A bank. A real estate agent. A dentist. A marketing firm. A pizza joint. Simple enough. But, when HERCO renovated the Hershey Press building a block up Chocolate and planted two higher end restaurants in it then followed up with a new Hershey museum next door, the geography must have gotten them thinking.
Suddenly, the light at Chocolate and Coca was simply too hazardous, and tourists were getting lost and confused by the streets in the area. Wouldn’t it make much more sense if we did a little shifting around so that Cocoa could flow right across Chocolate and down to the many exciting and inviting attractions available in our fair town?
Of course it would.
Thus, the project to change-up the corner of Chocolate and Cocoa has begun. Of course, sacrifices have been necessary. In order for the road to flow where they want it the corner needs to be moved down about a block. And, we can’t just tear everything up, we need to beautify things in the process. What could we do to make things more attractive?
I know, a park!
Of course, in order to do that we are going to need to tear down that pesky building and dislocate all of the tenets. And, of course we don’t really have a place for them to be in downtown Hershey at this point. Sorry guys, but progress is progress.
Wait, what was that? You’re concerned about this project being a bit self-serving? Why? Well, yes, the new road will take the traffic that comes through Chocolate and Cocoa right past the Press Building and out two high-end trendy restaurants. Just a coincidence, I assure you. I admit, we could see an upswing in their traffic. But, again, just a coincidence. After all, we are doing this for the good of the community. Don’t worry, we would never do anything to hurt the community in favor of self-interest.
I mean, what would Mr. Hershey think?