Landmark renovation costing Arby’s 10 percent
Summer months are the peak season for the Arby’s Restaurant at Kimball Junction. During May through September it sees Interstate travelers, conference and tournament attendees and tourists in addition to locals.
Unfortunately, the Landmark Drive renovation that was so good for Walmart is costing the owners at least 10 percent of regular business, said manager Barbie Luce.
"You can’t see us if you don’t know we’re here," she explained.
Most customers during the summer come from out of town, she added.
Prior to the renovation in 2008, people turned right at McDonald’s and past Arby’s to get to the top of the hill where Walmart, Taco Bell, Davanza’s and several other businesses are located.
Now, unless one wants to turn right, drivers bypass the old road and drive up the hill directly west to a roundabout.
Now Taco Bell and Davanza’s are disadvantaged by only being accessible to northbound drivers, but there’s no reason to drive past Arby’s at all.
"The new road configuration is quite confusing," said John Troilo, recent owner of Davanza’s at the Junction. "It’s limiting access to our location."
He said it’s definitely had a negative impact on business.
Workers at the Taco Bell say the change has neither hurt nor helped business.
That’s because they get more exposure, Luce said. With Summit County’s restrictive sign codes, there’s no way for her to let potential customers know she’s there.
Previous Aprils brought in about $60,000 in business. This April saw $9,000 less. That’s typical, Luce said. Every month since the road was finished she’s seen $5,000 to $8,000 less than usual.
"After it was complete, I was shocked by how little business we’d done," she said.
The recession and declines in summer travel have hurt as well, but there’s nothing she can do about that.
If she were allowed a tall sign like McDonald’s has (it was grandfathered into the code), people on I-80 as well as surrounding streets would see her better. She hasn’t been in the neighborhood as long as McDonald’s but her parents opened the Arby’s 17 years ago, she said.
Luce is also looking into kinds of flags or inflatable devices she might be able to erect to announce their presence. They’re expensive and she isn’t sure the code allows them either. It doesn’t even allow promotional stickers on her own windows, Luce explained.
Even a sign on the corner near McDonald’s would help a lot, she added.
View Arby’s in a larger map
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