Greg Garrett mug

Tehachapi City Manager Greg Garrett

Tehachapi has become a place of opportunity for all. We can’t promise you the American Dream but we’ve certainly taken plenty of steps to make it far more attainable in our city than many others.

Last week was a great indicator of that. We celebrated the opening of several additions to the city of Tehachapi. Of course, Walmart was the most notable, releasing pent-up demand for general merchandise and grocery shopping locally. By the turnout and the crowds at the store, I’d say Walmart’s decision to come to our community will be successful. They certainly have an emphatic local team of more than 200 employees, many of whom received full-time positions with benefits as well as promotions from inside and outside of Walmart. This job matters to them and I hope their enthusiasm is contagious, because they certainly care about their service. We are looking forward to a long partnership.

The media attention wasn’t just focused on Walmart, but to our downtown businesses as well. While internet chatter once led us to believe that large corporations were the death of Main Streets in America, that simply isn’t the case in our community. On the same day we cut the ribbon at Walmart, World Wind and Solar did the same at their corporate headquarters and training center at 228 Tehachapi Blvd. What a wonderful rehabilitation of that structure, they bring several hundred employees, trainees and vendors to downtown on a daily basis.

The following day a local television crew visited Virginia Sheridan, who in preparation for the full-time reopening of Kelcy’s Restaurant downtown, had a soft opening to get her new staff trained. It was the epitome of reality. Corporations aren’t shuttering Downtown Tehachapi. For years they’ve been strengthening its purpose. To provide specialty services, workspace and retail not found elsewhere, we’re writing a script that tells the true story. We are providing opportunities for all.

We are blessed at this moment with a strong economy, a group of small, medium and large business owners who in the spirit of community and collaboration are working to make Tehachapi a great place to live, work and visit. Our tourism industry is thriving, sparked by our outstanding local events like Cheers to Charity, Tehachapi Mountain Festival, the Apple Festival and Gran Fondo, just to name a few.

Partner that with the expansions of the wine industry both inside and outside of the city and our community is providing opportunities and becoming a destination. We are diversified in our offerings to tourists, homeowners, investors and residents. We are writing a true coming-of-age script about a city that is growing up but maintaining the things that have made it so desirable in the past. You won’t find it in the theaters, but this story is unfolding all around us; everyone plays a leading role.

Thank you to everyone who continues to provide these opportunities for all and contributes to our story. If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know, ggarrett@tehachapicityhall.com or 822-2200.

Greg Garrett is Tehachapi's city manager.