It is with great concern and disappointment that I read about the plans for a "new" McDonald's at the Glendale Road and Gross Street location. As a parent who has spent a great deal of time (and money) at this particular location, the plans to demolish the Playland there and not to rebuild demonstrates a fundamental disregard for the parents and of children of the greater Marietta community. For many years this indoor Playland has served as an oasis of activity for our children in good weather and in bad. In fact after meeting Ronald McDonald there at the age of 3, my now 8-year-old daughter, Esther, cheerfully declared to me that she knew who she "wanted to marry."
I certainly understand the need to modernize facilities and equipment. But must such advances come at the cost of a safe place to take your child for a meal and some healthy activity? This is one of the last public indoor play areas in the Parkersburg/Marietta area. I can honestly say that I am a regular customer at this location - both with and without my daughter. As a regular customer I have observed three primary types of customers there, parents like myself, retirees - who enjoy the senior discounts, papers and good friendships, and drive-thru customers. It seems to me that the bulk of the business at this location is at the drive thru window - which has always impressed me with its professional and efficient employees.
With so much attention focused on the epidemic of childhood obesity - and the role fast food plays in this epidemic - it seems that this would be the time for corporations such as McDonald's to emphasize rather than disregard the role of healthy activities for children.
The Strahler/Hadler family has provided the Marietta Community with financial support and donations almost too numerous to count. My daughter, myself, her grandmother, her babysitter, her Girl Scout troop, and her friends have spent many happy hours at this McDonald's, learning valuable lessons in how to play well with others. It makes me sad to think that future generations of children from our community won't have this same opportunity.