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EDITORIAL: In-N-Out picks Colorado Springs — ahead of Denver

By: The Gazette editorial board
December 1, 2017 Updated: December 7, 2017 at 2:23 pm
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Cars line up in the drive-thru lane at In-N-Out Burger on Tuesday, June 8, 2010, in Baldwin Park, Calif. (AP Photo/Adam Lau)

Denver, our good neighbor to the north, may get jealous over this latest development.

It's not the survey by Yelp and Realtor.com, which showed Colorado Springs as a preferable location for young cool "hipsters." Denver has more hipsters than any city needs.

Nor is Denver concerned that Demographers say Colorado Springs will be the state's largest city in 15 years. Denver does not need more people.

It is the In-N-Out factor that probably stings.

An announcement Thursday said the company would locate its first Colorado store and a distribution center in northern Colorado Springs. The distribution center will support up to 50 In-N-Out locations within a 350-mile radius.

RELATED

The business reasons for In-N-Out picking Colorado Springs ahead of Denver.

Gazette readers respond to the In-N-Out news.

The popular California-based burger joint is known for loyal fans who take road trips of 10 hours or more from Colorado for the nearest Double-Double burger in Salt Lake City or Las Vegas. Among the company's more loyal clientele, no city is for real if it does not have at least one In-N-Out.

Coloradans fans circulated a petition to attract In-N-Out. A "Bring In-N-Out Burger to Colorado!" Facebook page has for years published rumors and updates about company expansion. Thursday's announcement had social media abuzz with fans sharing their plans to camp out in advance of the first Colorado store's opening, likely in 2020.

Denver City Councilman Albus Brooks has long made attracting In-N-Out among his highest priorities.

"Everything is fresh, nothing is frozen and they have great benefits for all of their employees," Brooks said, explaining his appreciation for the chain.

Brooks grew up in California, misses In-N-Out, and says Colorado's high density of Golden State transplants makes the state a perfect new market for the brand.

"If we can get one distribution center in Denver, that will allow us to have a number of stores along the Front Range," Brooks said, as quoted by The Denver Post in 2011. He wrote annual letters to the company's executives, arguing the case for Colorado.

A Post headline in 2013 said "In-N-Out Burger is still high on Albus Brooks'priorities."

The Post dashed hopes in 2014, with a headline that read "In-N-Out Burger still says its 'slow-growth plan' does not include Colorado for now."

Not long ago, popular national retail chains tested Colorado by opening ventures in Boulder or Denver, eventually trickling south to Colorado Springs. Think Whole Foods and Trader Joe's.

Times are changing.

With In-N-Out, the Springs becomes a real city - at least among a devout subset of burger connoisseurs.

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