In-N-Out Burger’s arrival in Colorado Springs isn’t scaring away Mickey D’s.
McDonald’s, the Chicago-based fast-food kingpin, plans to build a restaurant just east of InterQuest Parkway and New Allegiance Drive in the InterQuest Town Center development, east of Interstate 25 on Colorado Springs’ far north side, according to a proposal submitted to the city’s Land Use Review Division.
The McDonald’s, with about 4,500 square feet and two drive-thru lanes, would go up a half-mile west of InterQuest and Voyager parkways — a site where California-based In-N-Out will open its first restaurant in Colorado Springs and the state.
The InterQuest location would fill a gap in the McDonald’s service territory on the Springs’ far north side; the chain has a restaurant near the Chapel Hills Mall and another about 10 miles farther north on Baptist Road, but nothing in between.
The new McDonald’s would open by mid-2020, the plans submitted to city officials show.
In-N-Out, meanwhile, has said its restaurant will open in late 2020 after the completion of distribution and production facilities being built in the Victory Ridge mixed-use development. The restaurant, production and distribution facilities are part of In-N-Out’s expansion to Colorado that the chain announced nearly two years ago.
Does McDonald’s worry about the presence of new-kid-on-the-block In-N-Out, which boasts a cultlike following for its burgers, fries and shakes? And does In-N-Out care about McDonald’s, whose 2018 U.S. sales of $38.5 billion ranked it as the nation’s No. 1 fast-food chain, according to a recent QSR Magazine report?
A McDonald spokeswoman said via email that “we do not have enough information to share” about the InterQuest restaurant. At the same time, an In-N-Out official didn’t respond immediately to a request for comment.
But fast-food chains operating within a short distance from each other, like other retailers, are nothing new. Burger King and Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, two more familiar names, have restaurants west of In-N-Out’s site and just north of where McDonald’s plans to build.
Several car dealerships also line Motor City Drive on the Springs’ west side or operate side by side in the northeast side Powers Auto Park. CVS, the pharmacy chain, entered the Springs market over the last few years and has built two stores across the street from Walgreens.
“King Soopers and Safeway are always close to one another,” said Andy Klein, a principal with Westside Investment Partners, developer of the Victory Ridge mixed-use project where In-N-Out is locating. “You see it with gas stations, too.”
When it comes to the InterQuest area, however, fast-food chains, retailers and the like might not be worried so much about competition as they are about being part of a booming area, Klein said.
InterQuest has emerged in recent years as one of the city’s hottest commercial hubs; it’s home to increasing numbers of restaurants, stores, hotels, apartments, townhomes and major employers, among other users.
“It’s a chicken-and-egg question,” Klein said. “Are they (McDonald’s and others) locating near each other to be next to each other? Or are they locating there because that’s the best place where everybody is? ... It is the right corridor to be in.”