Molly LaLone is the executive director of the Lake Orion Downtown Development Authority.
Wow Lake Orion! Can you believe it’s already been a year? A little bit longer than that, truthfully. But, I’d say this is the month I really started to fall for you.
This is the month I started to get to know our new (at the time) Editor for The Lake Orion Review, Jim Newell.
This is the month I joined Lloyd and Kathy Coe, owners of Ed’s Broadway Costumes and Gifts, as one of the undead zombies walking and stumbling through downtown.
This is the month the leaves started turning color along Orion Road, giving me the most beautiful color tour on my daily commute.
Yes, September 2016 is the month I fell well and hard for Lake Orion, the heart and hub of the Orion community, where living truly is a vacation.
Hi, I am Molly LaLone, the Executive Director of the Lake Orion DDA since June 2016.
My co-workers are Pam Belding and Samantha Langmesser.
Pam and I have been doing this work together for years (long story involving a different community).
Samantha, our new intern who began working with us this month, is a senior at Oakland University and will be creating merchant promotions for us through the end of the year.
Together, and with the help of extraordinary friends, partners and volunteers, we are creating an environment in which businesses, people, and organizations can thrive in downtown Lake Orion.
When hired, I inherited two projects and was assured undying acceptance and appreciation if I could finish them. The first was the Paint Creek Trail Extension; the second was the sale of the commercial building owned by the DDA at 51 N. Broadway St.
Hungry for some action, for a challenge, and – let’s face it – undying acceptance and appreciation, I said, “Sure, I can do that!” And yes, though more challenging, more difficult, and more exciting than I understood when I first said” Yes” to Lake Orion, I’m happy to report that those projects are completed.
Construction of the Paint Creek Trail Extension has already begun and will be finished in November. Our building was purchased and the second location of “Fork & Pint” – a full-service restaurant and bar – is scheduled to open in that building by mid-October 2017.
We did a few other things of note this year as well.
We entered “Yes! Lake Orion” in an amateur video contest and won “The Spirit of Main Street” Award.
Two redevelopment liquor licenses were applied for and approved – Wine Social and Fork & Pint.
One new race started in downtown and ended at the Veteran’s Memorial.
A very successful and sunny Flower Fair, great talent under the Gazebo all summer, weekly newsletters and biweekly business newsletters (both written by Pam), a responsive website (check out downtownlakeorion.org on your phone, tablet and your huge monitor – looks good everywhere!) rounded out my first year. Whew! That was fun, Lake Orion!
Well, what’s next? How about new businesses, new condos, new boat docks, new restaurants and the return of Babes on Broadway?
How about a volunteer appreciation night at one of 20 Front Street’s concerts? How about more of all the things you like about the holidays in Lake Orion?
Yes! All of this is happening. Want to learn more? Stop by and see me, Pam and Samantha at next month’s Shop Local Expo at the high school on Oct. 5.
Or stop by our office, 118 N. Broadway St., to find out how you can be involved in the fun.
You are extraordinary Lake Orion, and thank you for everything you do. We look forward to seeing you soon!