As the new year begins, hopefully as individuals we feel renewed and ready for great things to come. We wish the same for our local leaders.

Reviewing the various projects and plans on the table for the coming year, we hope the city leaders and business leaders in the community don’t lose sight of a particular area: the Moonridge corridor. It’s ripe for development and has been ignored for way too long.

We’ve heard all the reasons why. The city is supposedly waiting for the new zoo project. We hope the powers that be don’t wait too long. The zoo project may or may not break ground this year. The Grizzly by nature is skeptical, but hopeful that the shovels are in the ground before next winter. Waiting for those shovels to start revitalizing the Moonridge corridor is a delay that should not happen.

The corridor has so much potential. It’s been allowed to die a slow death. The once vibrant shops sit vacant begging for someone to love them again. The area is full of promise for retail, ski/board, bike rentals, an eatery or pub, maybe even a lodge.

While the new zoo is a prime attraction, there is already a first-class ski/snowboard resort there. And a golf course. And may we remind you, the zoo already exists in the area.

Skiers, snowboarders, golfers, mountain bikers, hikers, snowshoers, runners and more travel the roadway only to be disappointed that all they see are some condos, houses, some real estate offices and empty buildings. 

The Grizzly applauds Bear Belly Deli for its foresight in opening on the corridor and hanging on. It’s a bright spot on an otherwise bleak stretch of highway until one reaches the golf course and Bear Mountain, then makes the turn toward the existing zoo site.

Several years ago before the state abolished redevelopment agencies, the city of Big Bear Lake held workshops to gather input on what residents, merchants and property owners would like to see in the Moonridge Specific Plan. There were plans for new sidewalks, trails along the creek, bus stops, center traffic islands, signage and even a bridge to connect the two sides of the street. Merchants favored a rustic Western theme versus Alpine. Plans were to be delivered in 45 days back in August 2009, according  to a Grizzly story. 

What happened to all those ideas? Shelved waiting for a zoo? Waiting for money? Waiting for the right time? We hope not.

Savvy investors take note. There is a diamond underneath all that dust and dirt just waiting for someone to discover the lustre. We hope those interested don’t wait until it’s too late.

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