Looking ahead to Dahlonega 2018

Wonder what life will be like in Dahlonega a decade from now? Well, wonder no more. In the first issue of the New Year, The Nugget has compiled the predictions of a wide range of readers, local leaders and/or business owners as they forecast what life will be like in the year 2028. What will be the biggest changes? The best advancements? The biggest challenges? And who will be mayor? See our inside spread for answers.

 

What will be the biggest change in Dahlonega/Lumpkin County?

David Miller, County Commissioner

The economic development of the 400/52 corridor

 

Beau B. Everette, Facebook user

There will be at least one more antique store and one more hamburger restaurant. Bringing the total up to "too-many-of-both."

 

Marisa Pyle, local activist

The Square will be closed to car traffic, instead creating a pedestrian mall with outdoor restaurants, food trucks, and bicycle rentals.

 

Sarah Beth Ariemma Wright, Hospitality Director at Dahlonega Square Hotel

In the year 2028 our biggest change will be our ability to have open containers in the Square. Shoppers will be able to enjoy a drink purchased at one restaurant as they head to their next restaurant for dinner.

 

"Dr." John Raber, former County Chairman and local personality

The biggest change will be the ever increasing number of elderly and retirees moving to Dahlonega/Lumpkin County.

 

Gary Hulsey, frequent Nugget letter writer

An Amazon fulfillment center will be located in Lumpkin, bringing new housing and retail including several major chain stores.

 

Megan Broome, student journalist

The biggest change in Dahlonega will be an expansion of Emergency Services to have the fire department and EMS as two separate entities. In addition, the hospital will expand and serve residents through increased funding for education, additional resources from the local government, and heightened support within the community.

 

Bobby Mayfield, County Commissioner

It’s a tie. The Frogtown Fire Station will come online and the City and County governments will usher in a new era of unprecedented cooperation.

 

Chris Worick, local historian

Biggest change in County will be that UNG will have a football team but a stadium will be located away from Dahlonega to accommodate spectators.

 

Kathy Aerts, owner of Cranberry Corners

More commercial development.

 

Najja Hughey, Nugget junior intern

The biggest change in Dahlonega would mostly be the college and the population. UNG has a lot of students and it's going to grow most definitely. The population will be maybe in the 80,000’s by 2028 because people are very attracted to Dahlonega and its beauty.

 

 

What will be the best development?

David Miller, County Commissioner

An 80-bed, high tech, teaching hospital

 

Marisa Pyle, local activist

The city and county decided to expand the sidewalks and add more bike trails for new outdoor activities

 

Sarah Beth Ariemma Wright, hotel Hospitality Director

Our best development will be the addition of new shopping and dining on the square and a Target located conveniently at the end of 400. Our square will have 100 percent occupancy in all of the buildings.

 

"Dr." John Raber, former County Chairman and local personality

The best development may be the city agreeing/allowing Roberta [Green Garrett] to build some form of hotel downtown or two and the city finally deciding what to do with the kindergarten building property.

 

Gary Hulsey, frequent Nugget letter writer

A massive gold vein will be unearthed in a local mine.

 

Megan Broome, student journalist

The best development will be a new library facility that meets the needs of all residents through increased funding and support from the community and local government. Education will be understood as a basic human right and the library will become a valued and necessary staple for everyone in the community. Also, Lumpkin Literacy will gain more funding from the local government to expand the amazing services they offer.

 

Bobby Mayfield, County Commissioner

The best development is the ongoing infrastructure improvements on the Hwy 400 corridor.

 

Kathy Aerts, owner of Cranberry Corners

An alternate phone and internet service

 

Chris Worick, local historian

Best development will be a manufacturing plant that will locate near the Burnt Stand area so it has proximity to Ga 400.

 

Najja Hughey, Nugget junior intern

I would have to say the businesses because we are becoming the next Cumming with all the variety of places, Although its still very small, it will grow.

 

 

What will be the worst (most challenging) development?

David Miller, County Commissioner

Because of the economic boon, transportation in and out of the county.

 

Marisa Pyle, local activist

The city will have trouble with enough parking for tourists, residents, and students. However, this will be solved by creating a public transport system and having parking lots outside of the square and off-campus.

 

Sarah Beth Ariemma Wright, hotel Hospitality Director

Managing all of our tourists and the traffic that will come from such a booming downtown center will prove challenging, but thankfully our leaders planned and prepared for the wonderful economic growth in 2028.

 

"Dr." John Raber, former County Chairman and local personality

[The need for] adequate infrastructure to keep up with residential/industrial growth.

 

Gary Hulsey, frequent Nugget letter writer

Dahlonega will be overrun by gold prospectors, shysters, and greedy opportunists.

 

Megan Broome, student journalist

The most challenging aspect with increased development in Dahlonega will be preserving the historic qualities of the town. It is very important for residents and tourists to start today and take care of the beautiful city by recycling and advocating for environmental protections. The local government must utilize the resources needed to build and restore infrastructure in order to preserve the historic elements of the city.

 

Bobby Mayfield, County Commissioner

The biggest challenge for this year, next year, and for the foreseeable future is the growing traffic issue around town.

 

Chris Worick, local historian

Worst or most challenging will be the widening of Hwy 60 from Ga 400 to Dahlonega or Auraria Road to 400 to accommodate increased traffic

 

Najja Hughey, Nugget junior intern

The most challenging development would be getting all the Dahlonega natives to like the transformation of developing Dahlonega. I know a lot of people want Dahlonega to be a small town.

 

Debra Smith, Facebook user

UNG taking over the city and surroundings. Historic district reduced to smaller area with no public parking; pedestrian only; surrounded by multi story UNG buildings; lots of fast food franchises and heavy traffic; DOLLAR stores on every corner; massive retail and office development at 400/60; much more poverty and much more military presence as young people with few job and education options join up. Police force armed with military equipment.

 

 

What will be the most far-out futuristic development?

David Miller, County Commissioner

A combined hotel/convention center / ”Zac Brown” amphitheater.

 

Marisa Pyle, local activist

Dahlonega will shift to all-renewable energy in an effort to attract more visitors through ecotourism.

 

Sarah Beth Ariemma Wright, hotel Hospitality Director

Our personal shopping and delivery system will delight young parents and our older population alike. No more does one need to brave traffic to obtain their bread and milk. Simply order online and wait for your delivery.

 

"Dr." John Raber, former County Chairman and local personality

A shopping center with a major food chain in the 400/60 corridor.

 

Gary Hulsey, frequent Nugget letter writer

The Alexa device will be upgraded to respond to thought commands. A password thought will confine responses to authorized users.

 

Megan Broome, student journalist

Apartments, or dorm rooms, located on top of restaurants and bars on the square. Restaurants will also offer rooftop dining.

 

Bobby Mayfield, County Commissioner

The UNG Convocation Center is probably our most futuristic development.

 

Kathy Aerts, owner of Cranberry Corners

Again, there will be an alternate phone and internet service.

 

Chris Worick, local historian

Increased use of drones for delivery services and police applications such as locating suspects and vehicles, identifying speeders, etc.

 

Najja Hughey, Nugget junior intern

The most futuristic development would be another town in Lumpkin County.

 

 

What will the University of North Georgia look like?

David Miller, County Commissioner

Capped at 10K students, UNG will specialize in information security and leadership development (highlighting the Corps of Cadets.)

 

Beau B. Everette, Facebook user

A bunch of broke kids walking around dreaming about a future with no student loan debts

 

Marisa Pyle, local activist

UNG will still be expanding in Cumming and Oakwood, but their main focus in Dahlonega will be updating existing buildings to have more up-to-date technology and better STEM facilities.

 

Sarah Beth Ariemma Wright, hotel Hospitality Director

When Dahlonega added the Bitcoin mining station, college students were able to continue their studies and make money by mining Bitcoin for locals. More parking was eradicated but it was worth it for all of the prosperity enjoyed by all.

 

"Dr." John Raber, former County Chairman and local personality

Growth will continue but Gainesville and Forsyth will have the most students.

 

Gary Hulsey, frequent Nugget letter writer

UNG will be entirely gender non-specific. Unisex social groups will replace the Greek system’s fraternities and sororities.

 

Megan Broome, student journalist

UNG will restore the older buildings on campus, specifically Dunlap and Rogers, which are primarily used for English and Chemistry/Physics. These buildings are in critical need of major improvements.

 

Bobby Mayfield, County Commissioner

UNG will continue to grow.

 

Najja Hughey, Nugget junior intern

UNG Dahlonega will be huge, I bet there will be a “North Georgia Dome.”

 

 

Who will be mayor of Dahlonega?

David Miller, County Commissioner

Rhett Stringer, who will move his wife and five children inside the city limits.

 

Beau B. Everette, Facebook user

Roberta Green-Garrett

 

Marisa Pyle, local activist

Honestly, I have no idea. I don’t think I’ve met them yet.

 

Sarah Beth Ariemma Wright, hotel Hospitality Director

In a landslide victory, my husband Durant Wright from South Fulton, TN will become mayor of Dahlonega. He will, however, unsuccessfully try to hang a University of Florida flag in the town square.

 

"Dr." John Raber, former County Chairman and local personality

A female with a college diploma and a charismatic personality.

 

Gary Hulsey, frequent Nugget letter writer

Savannah Emerich

 

Megan Broome, student journalist

The mayor will be a forward-thinking individual who can problem-solve, is educated, and has a passion for helping others. She will be an advocate for the community, environment, and have the best interest of all residents in mind [and I already know the perfect college professor for the job].

 

Bobby Mayfield, County Commissioner

I am going to go out on a limb and guess Sam Norton.

 

Kathy Aerts, owner of Cranberry Corners

Matt Aiken

 

Chris Worick, local historian

Joanne Taylor or Roman Gaddis

 

Najja Hughey, Nugget junior intern

Chauna Utterback 2028

 

 

And, just for fun, who will be president?

David Miller, County Commissioner

Our current State Senator, Steve Gooch.

 

Sabrina Walker, downtown business owner

Justin Bieber will be president.

 

Marisa Pyle, local activist

Kamala Harris

 

Sarah Beth Ariemma Wright, hotel Hospitality Director

Marco Rubio will be enjoying his first 100 days as president after a successful campaign trail. Fun fact: he will also stay at The Dahlonega Square Hotel in the McGuire Suite during his rally in Dahlonega.

 

"Dr." John Raber, former County Chairman and local personality

Mike Pence

 

Gary Hulsey, frequent Nugget letter writer

Nikki Haley

 

Megan Broome, student journalist

Joe Biden

 

Bobby Mayfield, County Commissioner

I would speculate that it will probably be Trump.

 

Chris Worick, local historian

Paul Ryan or Condoleezza Rice

 

Najja Hughey, Nugget junior intern

Mark Cuban.

Second Slider: 

The Dahlonega Nugget

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 36,
Dahlonega, GA 30533

Phone: 706-864-3613
Fax: 706-864-5812