While Gas City experienced blizzard-like conditions this week, officials were putting the finishing touches on bringing a different kind of Blizzard to the city.
Mayor Bill Rock said it has been nearly 30 years since a Dairy Queen was located in Gas City, but that will change soon as the city and the company have signed off on a deal to bring the ice cream shop and restaurant back into the city. Rock said the paperwork was officially completed on Tuesday.
A total $1.7 million investment, according to Rock, Dairy Queen will be moving into Gas City in the empty lot and space to the west of Taco Bell located at 6265 E. 500 South.
Rock said that the next step now that the deal has been reached is the company getting site development and finding contractors who will build the new building.
The current state of the weather will likely cause some delay in getting this next step underway, but Rock said he believes the timeline for the project is to open in June or July of this year.
Rock said he contacted Patrick O’Neil, who is the largest Dairy Queen franchise owner in Indiana, and brought him in to see the location when the project was in its infancy.
The Dairy Queen deal first came about through a conversation between Gas City Engineer Jason Miller and Rock about possible places that could fill the empty space. Rock said he wanted some form of food business to occupy the space.
Miller had a connection to put the pair in contact with Dairy Queen corporate and started the process, Rock said.
Rock said the business will bring in 25 full-time employees, and the staff will expand to as many as 40 during the summertime rush.
In addition to bringing in new employment opportunities in the city, Rock said the business will help the overall economic situation of the city.
“It just brings in more tax dollars, more TIF dollars,” said Rock. “Just excited to get that piece of property that sat empty for the past 15 years to finally get on the tax roll, become a utility customer, an electric customer and to have employees there that could possibly move into the city.”
The Dairy Queen as well as other new businesses recently coming to the city has Rock optimistic about the prospects of the future of the area.
“People are starting to contact us and ask about land that we have available,” said Rock. “So it looks like we’re going to explode here probably in about the next six months to a year. Every piece we put into that puzzle, it just solidifies that area.”