Sonic Drive-In owner says plans to build Craig store still on horizon
The plan to bring a Sonic Drive-In to Craig has been on the horizon for many years and the owner says he is waiting for construction costs to go down before moving forward, potentially as soon as next spring.
Dean Sigler, who owns six other Sonic Drive-In franchises throughout the Western Slope, said in a call on Monday that he hasn’t changed his plans.
“We’ve just put it on hold for a while,” Sigler said. “Because of COVID, construction prices went through the roof and we decided to hold off and see if things would settle down a little bit.”
Craig City Council approved plans in January 2021 for the new chain restaurant to be located east of Sixth Avenue and south of U.S. Highway 40 on the land just north of the Walmart parking lot and across from the MRH urgent care facility.
Sigler said that after the project was approved, his team put it out to bid and heard back from two contractors, one in Denver and one in Texas.
“The bids were way higher than we expected,” Sigler said. “And higher than other Sonics that were being built around the country.”
The future Sonic also started a hiring process when the bids went out, and Sigler said he got a few resumes but didn’t actually hire anyone, since the project is on hold.
For the design of the new location, Sigler has been working with a civil engineer out of Denver and said as long as the construction plans don’t change, they shouldn’t have to go through another approval process with the City of Craig.
“We’d like to have a store in Craig, that would be awesome,” Singler said. “We are worried a little about Craig’s economy because the coal industry is coming to a close.”
In addition to the proposed Sonic location in Craig, Sigler also owns five Colorado locations in Rifle, Delta, Montrose, two in Grand Junction, in addition to a location in Vernal, Utah.
According to past reports, the idea to open a Sonic in Craig has been in the works since about 2005. The city even approved the first construction plans in 2008.
Shortly thereafter, the national and local real estate economy sharply declined and the first approved plans for Sonic never came to fruition.
For now, the community will have to continue to wait and see if the market lends itself to the construction of the restaurant in the next year.
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