Maybe not afraid, but put off. If a regular tourist--with money, mind you--comes to a downtown/urban center and the first thing they see is a worn out fried chicken joint or a 99 cent store(and not just one, a good chunk of them) that person will think that the area is unappealing, unsafe, and not worth anyone's time, especially if there's nothing geared towards that tourist to balance it out or even override it(ie Center City Philly or even JC, as I mentioned earlier). They'll just take their cash to another city with a better downtown.
Who is put off by seeing a fried chicken joint?? I mean, really. NYC has tons of these 'low-life stores' (your words, not mine) and that doesnt put off people from visiting it. Do you know why? Because people arent affected by it. NYC also has other high-end stores that can attract tourists. Theres no need to eliminate all establishments that arent 'high-end'. If you have great estalishments in town, no one is going to cancel their visit to such an establishment because they are 'put off' by seeing fried chicken and nail salons also within downtown.
Edited by devlman, 11 July 2011 - 12:25 PM.