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How long will Payson businesses suffer through Main Street construction?

Posted at 6:03 PM, Jun 27, 2024

PAYSON, Utah — Not much has changed at Lou's Barber Shop in Payson over the last 28 years.

"We're an old fashioned barber shop," said owner Cherie Ballamis. "My husband came up with the saying, 'it's where a man can feel comfortable.'"

Outside the barber show along Main Street is a different story as construction crews are making infrastructure repairs. The city's project to improve the area is causing challenges for local businesses.

"We've seen so many businesses come and go here on Main Street," added Ballamis "It's hard to keep an old town going."

Lou's is filled with pieces of aviation history from Ballamis's father

In January, the city started a project to replace water lines and improve access to the area, but it's been tough over the past few months, causing some business owners to close their doors.

"Parking has been a huge challenge, so customers have a hard time figuring out where to park," explained Sara Reed, whose sister owns the West Rose Flower Shop. "A lot of people come in saying they thought the shop was closed, or they thought all the businesses were closed because of construction, so that's really difficult."

People have been coming out to help and support the businesses on Main Street.

"I thank them very much because my husband and I are still in business, and so are the rest of the people here, and we don't exist without you and you don't get services from us without coming down. So I appreciate the help," said Ballamis. "People have tipped us more because they know we've slowed down."

People like Zoey Young who continue to brave the construction to support local business.

"We love to still come here, and it sucks that the construction has stopped a lot of people, but we don't want it to stop us," she said.

Payson city officials say they are behind schedule on the construction and hope to reopen Main Street by the end of July.

"No orange cones, no dirt, I'm going to have to wash my walls. I have got so much dust in here, but it happens, you know," an exasperated Ballamis added.

Lou's is now waiting for the light at the end of tunnel as the dust settles on the change.