By Lisa Robbins (WBOY)

FAIRMONT, WV — The Gateway Connector has been partially open since December, and Fairmont’s Eastside is starting to see an increase in travelers.

The city is already planning ahead for the warmer weather, and hopes to see new businesses and existing businesses take advantage of the growth.

“I’m hoping that when spring hits, and as more businesses come into the area that it will happen again, and this will be a true business neighborhood,” said Jonathan Rider, owner of Rider Pharmacy.

The city has had a series of meetings to address the growth and clean-up of the eastside of town.

“We are very excited to see what kind of businesses come into this area, specifically eastside and downtown,” he said.

One existing business that is taking advantage of the changes in the area is Hospice Care Corporation.

Its old store in Fairmont wasn’t big enough for the amount of customers it serves, or items it sells, so it’s moved to a bigger and better location.

 

The new thrift store is located at the corner of Market Street and Columbia Street, and is about twice the size of the original store.

“We wanted an opportunity to have a larger space so we could have some furniture and larger ticket items that would increase our sales, and be things that people really want,” said Cynthia Woodyard, VP of Public Affairs for Hospice Care.

The non-profit uses the money it makes at the stores, and puts it towards people who need hospice services but are unable to afford them.

“My parents both died from cancer, and I was the caretaker. I know how important it is for people to have that opportunity for hospice care because it’s so demanding on the families,” said volunteer Sharon Curry.

“This is a way for the community to give back to its friends and families. All of the merchandise in this store is donated by people in the community,” said Woodyard.

The new store is located at 317 Market St. in Fairmont.