These ideas will make you money

By Tim Weideman

Help. I’m afraid I’m being watched.

I’m not sure whether somebody’s following me, tapping my phone or screening my emails, but somehow, my ideas are being stolen — specifically, my business ideas.

See, the evidence is stacked.

When my wife and I first moved to Manhattan two years ago, I asked her why she thought Aggieville didn’t have a rooftop bar.

We pondered the question, agreeing that the district’s atmosphere was perfect for a venue that offered great views. Later that year, I learned Wabash Bar and Grill was in the works.

I WASN’T at all upset because I’m nowhere near considering making the jump into the bar or restaurant business — or any other business, for that matter. The idea was fair game.

“If you ain’t first, you’re last,” as Ricky Bobby would say. I think he’d agree that mantra applies to starting businesses just as well as it does to racing.

But this idea-theft has happened a few too many times for coincidence to be at play. I have other examples.

Before there were more bakeries in Manhattan than we know what to do with, I was wondering why Panera was the only option. Now, there are at least three such service providers in the downtown area alone.

Fuzzy’s is another example.

Located in Hibachi Hut’s former home, Fuzzy’s is the answer to my wish that Aggieville had a cheap, fast Mexican- style restaurant.

Notice I said cheap. While Chipotle is fast, its continuously increasing prices are a downer. Lines extending out the door and into the parking lot aren’t exactly conducive to speedy in-and-out times, either.

LIKE THE rooftop bar example, I wasn’t seriously entertaining taking action on any of these notions. To those who acted on these ideas — congrats. They were yours, too, right?

Still, I find it concerning that other folks in town have been tuned in to the same business wavelength as I’ve been. Probably just a coincidence, I keep telling myself.

However, there is one way to see whether coincidence is responsible.

Allow me to share a few of my more recent ideas with you. Together, we’ll see whether anyone actually is listening to my hypothetical business endeavors.

FOR STARTERS, Manhattan really could use a laser tag facility. When the weather is poor, Manhattan’s familyand group-friendly activities are reduced to only a handful of options.

Enter a laser tag course, maybe indoor and outdoor. Don’t tell me it wouldn’t attract students, soldiers, townies and families, too. Oh, the possibilities.

Next, Manhattan’s music scene — minus Country Stampede, of course — is in dire straits. One festival half-aweek out of the year doesn’t count. Yes, there’s the Wareham Opera House, but, if I were to open a venue, I’d court a different audience.

I may be going out on a limb here, but let’s try attracting more punk, heavy metal and hardcore bands. From my time spent working in Junction City, I can tell you there’s an audience for that in the Fort Riley area.

On top of that, no major university these days is without students who thrive on the more aggressive music styles. While we’re at it, let’s open the door to other alternative styles popular among the college crowd.

It appears that at least one restaurant — RC McGraw’s — has caught onto this. And the scene needs more venues dedicated primarily to concerts featuring non-local bands. But venues with better VIP experience tickets would be welcomed, too.

Again, these ideas are free for anyone reading to go ahead and steal. I mean it. Manhattan will be a better place for it if you do.

As I’ve said before, this is all hypothetical, anyway.

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