The fizzle of the sizzle

Burger King restaurant closes its doors after more than 20 years of business

Burger King, which has been fixture in Craig for more than 20 years, closed its doors on Thursday and all 12 employees have been left without a job, its district manager said.

"It was costs," Scott Mitchel said. "It couldn't make enough money."

Mitchel drove to Craig Thursday from Denver to oversee the closing of operations.

"I hope to be out sometime tomorrow," Mitchel said, but the skeleton crew does not have a specific deadline as to when it has to be out of the building.

He was told one day before Thursday that the restaurant would be closing down.

"This is the first time that (a Burger King has closed down) has happened since I started," said Mitchel, who has worked for Burger King for 25 years.

The current owner of the building that housed Burger King, located on Victory Way, is listed as Nor Kor Food Corp. by the Craig Chamber of Commerce.

"I am looking around to see what I can salvage," Mitchel said of what he is currently doing to pack up the restaurant.

Monty Bond, a labor and employment specialist for the Colorado Workforce, said, "Naturally we are always concerned with any business that closes down in Craig, but we are hopeful that another business will come into that spot."

The Colorado Workforce called and offered their services to the former employees of2the fast-food restaurant.

"We have a program which is called the Rapid Response Program," Bond said. "We have talked to some of the people and are helping them try to find another job and/or file for unemployment."

Bond hopes some of the employees will be able to find jobs in new businesses that are opening in the area, such as the Family Dollar
Store.

George Wooley, asset manager for Burger King's Colorado western region, could not be reached for comment.

"It was very sad," said Karen Worth, who managed Burger King for ten years, of the restaurant's closing.

Worth is no longer an employee of Burger King and now is the general manager of Wendy's.

"It was kind of like they took my baby," Worth said.

For the current local general manager, Alfredo Kubas, the restaurant closing down Thursday came as a surprise.

"I haven't sat down and talked to my wife yet," Kubas said of life after Burger King.

But he said he thinks Burger King is going to try to work with the employees as far as finding employment.

"(The closing of Burger King) will positively effect everyone else although it is unfortunate for them," said Brenda Elsbree, general manager of the Craig McDonald's, "because there is a limited amount of dollars in the Craig community."

Elsbree said McDonalds has not received any applications from former Burger King employees yet, even though they are hiring.

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