Apr 19, 2012 - By Joshua Scheer, Staff WriterIn 1999, Bob Luck purchased the Riverton McDonald's knowing that one day he would either relocate or rebuild the fast food establishment.
It's finally happening.
"We've been working on this particular location for four years," he said on April 12 after a groundbreaking for the new restaurant.
Luck is moving McDonald's from its current spot on West Main Street to North Federal on the former V1 gas station site across the street from Riverton City Hall.
Friends, family and business associates gathered for the groundbreaking, holding golden-colored shovels to the concrete while the gas station was being torn down in the background.
"We hope (to open) late July, early August," Luck said. "We'll see."
Complications tied to mitigating the old gasoline storage tanks beneath the station caused setbacks with the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, Luck said.
"It was taken care of this last fall," he continued, adding that he was able to secure the property in December.
The new McDonald's will have a small monitoring building in the back that will note any potential problem with the old gas wells.
Luck said he chose the location after looking at several others, determining this was the best, most central spot.
"Visibility at this site is good," he said.
The new location will have multiple improvements over the original, including what Luck believes will be better access. He said the ingress and egress of the original is not ideal.
"It's a tired store," he said of the old location.
There will be side-by-side order taking at the new site for the drive through, like the Lander McDonald's, which Luck also owns.
The new location will feature coffee drinks and smoothies that the original does not carry. Luck said with the equipment required for the drinks, the upgrade was not workable at the original location.
"We'll have state-of-the-art security in and out," he added.
Some equipment, like cash registers, will be transferred to the new facility, but "most everything's going to be new," Luck said. "It'll be better, efficiency-wise."
The restaurant is getting a new low-oil fryer that will extend the life of the oil and use less energy to keep it hot.
Luck hopes to be able to use the location for more promotional and community-support events, like evenings where a portion of sales goes to support local schools.
Plans for the old building are not finalized. Luck said it will remain open until a few days before the new location opens. He estimated there would be a couple days where both would be closed during the final equipment and staff transition.
"The old facility will most likely be de-arched," he said of the process of removing any sign of McDonald's from the location. "More than likely it will be demolished."
The land is for sale through the fast food chain's Denver regional office, and if there is interest in the current building, calls should be directed there as well.
Luck began his career with McDonald's in 1982, when he worked for his brother-in-law at a location in Rawlins. He moved up through the ranks, eventually becoming a regional supervisor.
In 1995, Luck went out on his own and purchased the Lander restaurant. The following year he bought franchises in Thermopolis and Worland before adding the Riverton shop in 1999.
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