Wendy’s coming to Moses Lake ... possibly

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MOSES LAKE — Wendy’s appears to be coming to Moses Lake.

According to a pair of job advertisements posted on Indeed.com in October, Spokane-based Wenspok is looking for both a general manager and assistant manager to run a Wendy’s in Moses Lake.

“The Wenspok Companies is a privately owned franchise of Wendy’s Restaurants in the USA. We operate 32 Wendy’s restaurants between Washington, Idaho, Oregon and California, and employ over 1,000 people,” the ads say.

The company does not yet have a restaurant in the city.

According to Debbie Doran-Martinez, executive director of the Moses Lake Chamber of Commerce, the formal announcement about Wendy’s is scheduled to be made in January.

Wenspok is reported to be looking at several acres along Yonezawa Boulevard near Denny’s. Doran-Martinez said another major firm — which she would not name — is also looking “in that vicinity.”

Doran-Martinez said Moses Lake is a difficult market for major retailers and franchisers to set up shop in.

“We’re so spread out, we don’t have the population density a lot of retailers want,” she said.

While the city of Moses Lake is around 22,000 people, the 98837 ZIP code contains the 40,000-50,000 souls a number of larger retailers are looking for when they seek to locate a business, Doran-Martinez said. Cities and companies then begin a long process of exchanging information — income, population, growth — in hopes that eventually a company decides to locate there.

“It’s kind of like a courtship, it goes on until it’s right,” Doran-Martinez said. “We’re dating. I don’t know how else to describe it.”

While Moses Lake is also fairly well stocked with the basics, Doran-Martinez said, it’s proving really hard to attract the “next level” of retailers.

But the one thing going for Moses Lake, in terms of attracting businesses, is its isolation, Doran-Martinez said.

“People will travel 100 miles to do the shopping they cannot do here,” she said. “And if you’re in Odessa, it doesn’t make sense to go anywhere else.”

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached via email at countygvt@columbiabasinherald.com

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