Wheeless continues campaign to attract business to county

Wheeless continues campaign to attract business to county

County Judge gets a bite from Chick- fil- A


Could a Chick-fil-A be on the horizon in Crittenden County?

Late last month, County Judge Woody Wheeless sent a letter to the popular eatery’s corporate headquarters expressing a desire to see the chain locate a restaurant in the county.

The At-lanta-based fast food chain known for its boneless chicken sandwiches, has more than 2,000 locations in 43 states. The company is privately-held and family- run.

At that time, Wheeless said he had been told that previous inquiries about putting a Chick-fil-A here had been turned away by company officials that said the county lacked the population to support one.

But it now appears that the company may be willing to give Crittenden County another look. “Update on Chick-fil-A,” said Wheeless. “They will be coming to Crittenden County to give us a look the third week of this month. After they come, I will reach out to them to hear their response about our area.”

According to Chick-fil-A’s website, a franchise opportunity only requires a $10,000 financial commitment, but the company requires the owner to operate the restaurant and be hands-on in a full-time basis.

Wheeless hopes his letter, which points out Crittenden County’s 50,000-strong population and location along at Interstates 40 and 55, among the busiest in the country, might persuade the company to reconsider.

The new Baptist hospital going up in West Memphis Fairfield Inn & Suites in Marion could also be seen as positives for Chick-Fil-A officials.

“There are a lot of good things going on in our county and we would like to see Chick-fil-A be a part of our growth,” Wheeless said. “I believe we have a lot to offer with our geographic location and our proximity to Memphis, Tennessee.”

Wheeless isn’t putting all his eggs in the Chick-fil-A basket, though. The judge also recently reached out to another franchise.

“Many citizens have asked me to reach out to Arby's to see if they would have an interest in building in Crittenden County,” he said. “It appears that Arby's doesn't do single locations. According to the (response) letter, someone would have to be willing to invest in three locations at once to be considered.”

Wheeless said it was his goal to keep trying.

“We have to continue to reach out to prospective businesses so that we will be on their radar,” he said.

“Hopefully soon, some of these corporations will decide that Crittenden County will be a great location for their business.”

By Mark Randall