Brookings needs a more diverse marketplace, not another pizza place

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There are 12 pizza places in Brookings, and another on the way.

When you search for places to eat in Brookings, you’ll get quite a few choices, but mostly, you’ll get pizza.

Because we have 12 locations for pizza in a town of 23,895 people.

We, at The Collegian, firmly believe just about any business — literally any business — would be more beneficial to our community than another pizza place, like the Little Caesar’s going into the plaza currently being built by Den-Wil next to Taco Bell.

Don’t get us wrong, we love our Pizza King and George’s and others, but why do we need 12, soon to be 13, places to choose from? We don’t.

Our Editorial Board believes the Brookings marketplace needs to cater to community members and visitors more, too, not just the cliché appetite of college students.

Brookings is missing out on more diverse dining options, like a bubble tea shop, a ramen bar, a donut shop, a dessert bar or additional cultural cuisines.

But Brookings needs more than just places to eat, it needs entertainment — more things to do than drink downtown and eat pizza. We’d love to see mini golf or an arcade, or something like SkyZone in Sioux Falls.

Speaking of Sioux Falls, it would be nice to not have to drive there to have more options when clothes shopping, or looking for bigger selections on crafts, or home decor and furniture. It would especially be nice for every college student with a laptop or phone to not have to drive there to get them fixed.

We also need some big retail other than just Walmart, like Pottery Barn, Target or Shopko. Also, wouldn’t it be nice to have a health food store or more affordable apartments for college students?

We think so.

Brookings is full of amazing local businesses, and we love them. We’d just love to see even more entrepreneurs bring the businesses Brookings is lacking. In the long run, more diverse businesses would bring more jobs and potentially retain our graduates who typically leave the area, and even the state, to find work in their fields.

We understand these things can’t happen overnight.

But, we think we can speak confidently for SDSU students and community members: it’s time for Brookings to evolve beyond bars and pizza.

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