Klamath Falls, Ore. – First-time business owners are helping downtown Klamath Falls make a comeback.
Opening the ‘Blonde Pineapple’ was a dream for co-owner Katy Baker.
“I always wanted to have my own store.” Notes Baker. “I worked in the mortgage industry for 10 years, and this is a dream of mine.”
Baker and business partner Leah Philips sell women’s fashions, baby items, and home decor.
Baker believes that her boutique will fill a need that a ‘big box’ store can’t match. “I believe in this community, and I think that they want to support local, and I think that they want businesses. And I see that there was a need in this community for something like this.”
‘Surf’s Up Sunglasses’ opened up just a few weeks ago directly across the street.
A full-sized VW bug is the centerpiece of the sales floor.
Owner Hayden Lam says his shop is the only one of its kind downtown.
Baker is optimistic that a healthy economy, and a positive attitude will help make her business gamble pay off.
“This is a dream come true.” Baker reflected. “I think when you have a passion for something, it just makes you that much more eager to succeed.”
T-J Maxx, Del Taco, Planet Fitness, and Natural Grocers have also invested in new stores in Klamath Falls.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970’s. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.Lyle’s job history is quite colorful.
He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90’s as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.
“The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story”.
When he’s not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.