The mall/downtown area could be fixed by the city taking over the mall, and putting a casino where Penny's was. The stores would fill up in the mall and be able to charge less for rent to keep them there.
They could build their hotels and have potential customers and more visitors for Music Man Square, the art museum, and other surrounding businesses. The movie theater could open back up, maybe a steak house in the mall, all possible through revenue from the casino or from taxes from a casino.
More people means more business. It's a win, win, win! Take a lesson from Worth County: only the local people would spend their money here instead of driving 20 miles. And it's also closer for a number of surrounding communities to gamble here.
Wake up Mason City, or deal with the consequences.
Jay Sheahan, Mason City