If all goes according to plan, and that’s an if, the new Dairy Queen planned for 107 Range Road could open in October.
Walter Trotter, one of the developers behind the project, said in an April 14 interview he was pleased with Whitehorse city council’s April 13 decision to rezone the property to allow for a drive-thru.
As Trotter explained, when developers were looking at bringing a Dairy Queen franchise to town, it was clear that given the challenges COVID-19 has brought to the restaurant industry with reduced seating in restaurants, the project wouldn’t be feasible without a drive-thru. It’s the way the restaurant industry is moving, he said.
Having the zoning for a drive-thru in place means the project can proceed with developers now waiting for the development permit to be approved before breaking ground.
“We’ve got everything in order (to begin work on the ground),” Trotter said.
Developers are aiming for an October opening, though he said that will depend on everything going as planned.
As Trotter pointed out, COVID-19 has impacted supply lines for materials and that could impact the project, along with other factors.
Planning for the property’s development began in earnest about a year ago.
“We know there’s a lot of traffic coming down the highway,” Trotter said of the decision to move forward with a restaurant on the site.
Plans are also in the works for further development of the property, but Trotter said discussions are still underway with other potential tenants and are not at a point where they can be publically discussed right now.
Speaking of the Dairy Queen franchise, Trotter was quick to note his own grandkids’ excitement.
“That’s what they want,” he said.
As work was done to look at Dairy Queen as a possibility, Trotter said it became clear the DQ brand would be a great fit for the entire community.
Dairy Queen is actively involved in the communities it is part of and there are plans for the Whitehorse franchise to sponsor local sports and recreational activities for kids, he said.
“We do have a big budget for sponsorship,” he said.
It’s anticipated the local Dairy Queen will employ approximately 30 employees once it is open.
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