For years and years I have said that Mason City missed the boat on being the center of the financial/commercial universe in North Iowa and Southern Minnesota.
Let’s think about it. We are about 2 hours by car from Des Moines, about 2 hours by car from Minneapolis, and now thanks to the Avenue of the Saints, we are about 2 ½ hours from Cedar Rapids and not to mention the far quicker drive to Dubuque and other river towns and cities. So why are we not the size of Rochester or even bigger? There has been much debate I’m sure behind closed doors. My take on this as a Realtor has been that we do not take an active step in keeping Mason City presentable. First impressions are lasting impressions.
Over the course of my years in real estate, I have sold enough homes to people coming from far away due to job opportunities. During the purchase process, the buyers sooner or later share with me their initial negative perceptions upon their initial arrival. And for me, that created an uphill battle in getting them comfortable with the city.
We as the residents of Mason City can create the most beautiful civic improvements but what I bristle about, is the maintaing of those improvements. If we as a community and residents of Mason City don’t take a stand on what we will tolerate and not tolerate, then we will become yet another pass over city that is blighted with discord, neglect, and apathy.
One thing I must mention here on a positive side. I have a client/customer who was a high ranking officer in the Air Force and lived in more countries and cities that we could only dream about. She told me more that once that the reason she loved Mason City is because we have the most beautiful three seasons she has ever seen in the world. And about the fourth season here, she said, “Well, every rose must have it’s thorns.”
And don’t forget, we are the Music Man Capital of the United States!