The past couple of weeks have been eventful for Peters Township and its businesses.
First, Pizza Al’s opened on Route 19. Less than two weeks after that, on Dec. 2, Fiori’s Pizzaria opened its doors. Patrons flooded both new eateries, eager for a chance to taste the new menus – so much so, that wait times were long, traffic was plenty and we witnessed people parking at neighboring businesses and making a dangerous walk on busy Route 19 to the pizzarias.
Last week, Giant Eagle’s Market District Express and new GetGo gas station opened. The first store of its kind, Market District Express features a cafe, deli, sushi bar, Starbucks, condensed grocery offerings and more. The amount of convenience it brings to the area is amazing.
But, more important than convenience or another place to order pizza from, are the jobs that these new businesses have created – we’re not just talking about those working as cooks and cashiers, but about the people who constructed the Market District Express and remodeled existing spaces to house Pizza Al’s and Fiori’s.
As we all know, times still aren’t the best, and many have not yet been able to dust themselves off from the recession that began in 2009. Peters Township is paving the way for better times, as activity breeds activity, and people supporting these local businesses are helping the local economy more than they probably realize.
Sure, many communities have a long way to go, but we are thrilled to see new businesses opening in Peters Township, and beyond. A few recent notable, local openings include Up Dog Yoga in South Fayette, The Fresh Market in Mt. Lebanon, Walnut Grille in Bridgeville and Mt. Lebanon and Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza and On Deck Bar & Grille in McMurray.
New stores have opened at South Hills Village, The Galleria of Mt. Lebanon and Tanger Outlets.
Drive a little further south, and the Racetrack Road corridor in Meadowlands is booming, as is business in Southpointe.
We are fortunate to live in an area that wasn’t hit as hard as the rest of the country by the recession, and we are even more fortunate to have new businesses popping up to patronize – and to work for.
Before this week, anytime the word “drone” was used in the media, the association was with unmanned aerial vehicles that sparked conversation and controversy earlier this year during congressional hearings on U.S. drone strikes.
But, Amazon.com, a game changer in how America – and the world – shops online, is changing the game once again. On Dec. 1, just hours before Cyber Monday began, a segment on CBS’s “60 Minutes” announced the Amazon PrimeAir concept, using, you guessed it, drones, to deliver packages within 30 minutes of placing an online order.
Of course, there are stipulations – the purchases eligible for this type of delivery must weigh less than five pounds and delivery addresses must be within a 10-mile radius to Amazon distribution centers.
What we are looking at here may indeed be the way of the future – but for now, we see it as no more than a lofty pipe dream that has grabbed the media’s attention and diverted it from Amazon strikes in Germany and reports of deplorable conditions in Amazon warehouses in the United States.
In order to make Amazon PrimeAir a reality, the Federal Aviation Administration would have to pass off on the idea, which isn’t likely to happen anytime soon.
Not only that, kinks in the GPS system will have to be worked out, and a plan will need to be put in place to avoid allowing the packages to be shot down, stolen or intercepted.
Don’t forget to factor in the weather with this system. How will these drones fair in snowstorms, thunderstorms or high winds?
Currently, there are Amazon “Fulfillment Centers” in only 14 states, Pennsylvania being among them. However, there is not one located in the Pittsburgh area, or even in the Western Pennsylvania region.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos predicts the system will get off the ground in the next four to five years, but we highly doubt it.
Sure, the concept is a great one, allowing even more immediate gratification – as well as convenience – than we are used to. But, we expect the drone buzz to die down very shortly, and to not hear about the concept again for a very, very long time.