LPNN recently had the opportunity to sit down and speak with David Kearns, the owner of the Domino’s Pizza franchise that is coming to Page, AZ. There obviously are a lot of questions that everyone is dying to know the answers to, and now was the time to get down to them.
First on the list for those questions was, “Where is this new Domino’s going to be located”?
That has turned into a rather interesting situation that has yet to be resolved, however the simple answer is we don’t know yet. Originally the proposed new location was going to be in the Block 17 area right across the way from Ace Hardware, where the old area for selling your vehicles used to be located. David submitted the proposed location to the City of Page because that entire area is actually City property.
Mr. Kearns came to Page and was taken through the city by one of our local realtors looking for the perfect place to put his new restaurant, diligently trying to find the best place where he could serve the community, and where his new services could best be deployed and utilized by the entire community.
After going around the city checking out the different places that were available, they came upon that particular corner of Block 17 located right in the heart of Page. Immediately he got out of the vehicle and knew without a shadow of a doubt that he had found the perfect location to serve Page.
Located in the center of town he knew that he could plan routes for his pizza delivery service that could easily reach anywhere in town within only a matter of minutes, an absolutely vital aspect of any food delivery service company. That wasn’t all he noticed though.
Being right in the center of the city he would be able to service people who were out for a stroll, perhaps on their way to the newly remodeled City Park, or on the way to the brand-new skate park that has become such a local hit. Better yet, by staying open until 1 or 2 o’clock in the morning he would be able to serve the large groups of tourists that are always out and about looking for a place that wasn’t closed, trying to find something to do in the usually silent city center.
With both indoor and outdoor seating available, he could create an inviting atmosphere for those who wanted to hang out to enjoy their meals, or for those just wanting to run in and grab their order and head off to the park for a picnic, or home for that show everyone was dying to see.
Though Mr. Kearns is limited on what kind of décor is available for the interior of the new restaurant, Dominos allows for almost anything on the exterior. This would allow him to craft an inviting brand-new building that would match what the City has been trying to accomplish for many years: creating a unified visual theme that would help revitalize and invigorate the center of town.
When asked why he had made the decision on making a new building instead of repurposing another, it was pretty straight forward in his mind. The opportunity to bring something new and special to the city of Page was at the forefront of his goals. The excitement of having not only a new business but a new building would show the community that he was here to stay, with a purpose-built structure adding yet more value to the community.
This may be the point at which you, the reader, asks when does it start? Or perhaps, when will it be ready?
That is where we go back to that original question and answer from above, earlier in the article. “Where is the new Domino’s Pizza going to be located”?
The proposal that Mr. Kearns put together for the City on March 27th of this year, gave some of the outlines for what it was he wanted to put together going forward. Laying out the previous locations he had built and what they had accomplished, and the projections for what he could provide for the city of Page.
Because this location is on City property, the ultimate decision on whether he could utilize this perfect location is up to the City Council.
LPNN was there at this City Council meeting, as we are at all City Council meetings, live
broadcasting for you, the viewers, out there. The City Council heard the presentation and then shortly after that, as is their custom, entered into an Executive Session to talk about what they had just heard.
Unfortunately, as is the case when behind closed doors, LPNN does not know what was discussed by the City Council in Executive Session.
What we can tell you is that once the Council came out of Executive Session, and back into the main City Council chambers, a unanimous vote was made.
“Staff directed to work with developer and help promote the business in a suitable location”
What exactly does that mean for the future of Mr. Kearns and the new restaurant location?
The conclusion can be drawn that the location Mr. Kearns had proposed was not acceptable to the City Council for some reason.
What reason was not given, as it was discussed behind closed doors in Executive Session.
Which City Council members were for the new location is not known, as it was discussed behind closed doors in Executive Session.
Which City Council members were against the new location is not known, as it was discussed behind closed doors in Executive Session.
What some of the thoughts or reasons behind the decision to turn down the new location are not known, because it was discussed behind closed doors in Executive Session.
Mr. Kearns in the interview, was also at a loss for exactly what had happened, or why.
He relayed to LPNN a story about his first visit to Page to find the perfect place for his new business.
While flipping through the channels in his hotel room he came across the local Channel 4 station that the City of Page runs information on. Playing was newly elected Mayor Levi Tappan’s State of The City Address.
In that address, Mayor Tappan relayed his message for the city of Page. How revitalization was paramount to the growth of the city. How bringing in new businesses and new opportunities for the citizens of Page was the only way forward. How being more open and transparent with the community was vital to our growth, and building trust with the community, and that things with him as the new Mayor, and with newly elected council members would be different.
These statements struck a chord with Mr. Kearns and gave him hope for his proposal.
Unfortunately, he is baffled by the seeming denial of the City Council for his plans.
Perhaps the City Council didn’t have enough information?
Perhaps the City Council didn’t understand something in the presentation?
Perhaps the City Council thought it wasn’t an appropriate location for some reason?
At this point only speculation is possible as the entire process was behind closed doors and took place in Executive session.
Now here starts the opinion part of this article from me, Chris Lee your very own “Action News Reporter”.
I have rarely seen a business owner with such a passion for what he does here in Page. As we talked, I could sense from Mr. Kearns, an earnest and very honest excitement and dedication to his work. I found out that he started working for Domino’s Pizza a long time ago, and that he actually started as a delivery driver.
You heard that right, he started as a delivery driver, and worked his way up through the ranks of Domino’s Pizza, to today where he now runs multiple very successful franchise locations.
One of my main concerns as a citizen of Page was that another business was coming to town and we would end up with another “set it and forget it” franchise. The business would setup start and for just a little while would be great. Say maybe 30-90 days if we were lucky. Then the owners or corporate management would leave, and the place would degenerate into just one more location that us locals would avoid like the plague. There to serve the tourists because they knew they wouldn’t be coming back and no care for those who actually live here.
So, I told Mr. Kearns my fears and concerns about that very real possibility, and asked what he thought about it.
I can honestly say his look of horror at that thought was genuine. He told me he looks on his business as a reflection of himself and his values. He treasures not only his businesses but the communities in which they are located, and the people that live there.
Though Mr. Kearns lives in Denver, Colorado, he spends almost no time there at all. His life is one of constant travel. He makes a circuit through all of his locations religiously, and not for the reasons you might be thinking.
He travels to all of those locations, and spends so much time away from home because he cares. He wants each and every one of his locations to be the absolute best it can be, but there is even more than that. He wants each employee to know that he is right there at any time they need him. They are a part of his team, his family. He wants them to know that they can talk to him anytime they need to with any kind of concern, with any kind of questions they may have, but most of all, he wants to show them what possibilities are out there. After all, he started out just like them, delivering those same pizzas they are working with right now, helping out customers in the stores, running those reports late into the night. All of that he has done and more, just like them. The stores, the employees, and the towns and cities they are located in, have all become part of his extended family and he proves it with his dedication to each place.
When I asked him what his plans were since it looked like the City had denied his proposed location, he simply put it he is here to stay. He will find a location, he believes he can provide a great value and a service to our whole community, and he doesn’t give up that easily.
As of the writing of this article we still don’t know exactly what the City Council has planned, or what was actually decided other than:
“Staff directed to work with developer and help promote the business in a suitable location”
So, contrary to all of the platitudes within the Mayors State of The City Address, and the promises laid out, it seems that perhaps these were only empty words. Or are they?
The problem is we don’t know.
The problem is, all of this was behind closed doors in Executive Session.
Will we ever know?
What we do know, is that the proposed new business location for Domino’s Pizza is back up and on the City Councils’ agenda for the next meeting on April 10.
What will be discussed?
What will be decided?
Will we know?
The City Council is supposed to represent us.
We the people.
Are they doing what you want?
Are they representing what you think?
How do you know?
In the end it doesn’t matter whether you are for or against the location and the business coming into town.
What does matter is that your voice is heard, and that the City Council represents YOU.
Is that what is going on?
How do you know?
Let your voice be heard one way or the other and let your City Council know how they should be representing YOUR thoughts and ideas.
Not Their Own.
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