We start with small businesses in Ridgway taking advantage while the Sheetz on Broad Street is temporarily closed for construction and some businesses are getting creative to bring in more traffic.
The Wilderness Trail Restaurant and Saloon saw a late-night opportunity.
“With the Sheetz closing, we’ve extended our hours to midnight now, or later, so to help second-shift people that are getting off work to find something to eat.”
Other shops see potential in the lunchtime window.
“People are looking for somewhere quick to eat lunch and somewhere they can walk in and grab something and go it kind of opens more doors to everybody else as a local small business.”
Wingard says the impact on businesses like his could last through the return of the Sheetz.
“Maybe they didn’t even know prior that we were here, you know, and now they’re like ‘oh man, we never ate there, why don’t we give that a try?”
Amacher says her restaurant is already thriving.
“The business has definitely doubled. We’re trying to add more wait staff and more help in the kitchen. We’re picking up a lot more travelers that realize, well, that there’s no store there anymore.”
And she says small businesses now have a chance to shine.
“With them closing, it gives people opportunity to see what we have to offer and know that there’s other things in town other than just Sheetz.”
The Sheetz is expected to be completed around December.