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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

After 20+ Years, Our Subway is Gone... Now what?

OP-ED by Dan Gorman

I admit it – I took it for granted.  With one of the lowest failure rates of any franchise chain in America, I assumed the Subway in the heart of our business district would always be there.  I was shocked when it closed with no notice.  The note on the door says business had been declining for the past three years, and the owner could no longer pay his taxes.  I look at other buildings in our Central Business District and wonder why they sit empty for so long.  I truly admire those that can make it work.  Please, please support them any chance you can get.

As a real estate investor in Fort Thomas, I work with the City to attract new businesses to our town.  I spend a lot of money to renovate their spaces, and watch the owners invest tens of thousands of dollars as well.  I’m always optimistic, but sometimes wonder - will our town welcome and support them?  Will they thrive, or just survive?  Will they attract customers from outside of Fort Thomas, customers that will support our other businesses as well?

I drive around, and see our neighbors – Newport, Bellevue, Dayton, Covington - reinventing their business districts, drawing our residents, one by one, out of Fort Thomas to spend their money.  Each time a building goes vacant in our Central Business District, it becomes more difficult for the remaining businesses to thrive.

Henry Ford said, “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”  

It seems that this is a critical point for our city, an opportunity to consider cooperation between building owners, businesses, investors, developers AND the City to change the business climate of our CBD.  I want more opportunities to “shop local.”  I want our town to be known for not only our beautiful homes and great schools, but also for our cool, funky businesses.


  1. Always sad to see businesses leaving the CBD.

  2. Dan, you have it right! We need to support our local businesses!

  3. I concur, great thought-provoking op-ed, Dan. We really miss our date nights/easy strolls from home to 15 North, and now our kids are missing going to Subway.

    ~ Steven Brumer

  4. I think the pizza place was overpriced and the service was VERY slow. The food was good...just not worth the price and wait (even when they weren't busy). I believe the city is very supportive of our places...but it seems there has been a history of mismanagement in a few of the places that locked their doors up and closed.

  5. Sorry but the reason is Fort Thomas is a labyrinth of suburban cul-de-sacs. There is no navigable, quick-to-traverse street grid. Where that is missing, people won't walk; where people won't walk you get no street life; and without street life, people won't discover local businesses, which will lose customers and have to close up shop.

  6. This is and has always been a residential community with great schools and parks, secluded from the rest of NKY. Little traffic and crime which equates to higher home values.
    If you need a Sub, drive to Newport. If you don't like driving to Newport, move there.

  7. The trouble with most small business people is they don't understand business. Read Porter's 5 Principles and other professional writings.