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Groundbreaking held for new Domino’s site

Ground was broken Friday morning on a new building for Domino’s Pizza, which is returning to Pecos after a 30-year absence, and the owner of the local franchise said he hopes to be in operation by sometime in March.

Jim Gerety, owner of Domino’s franchises in the Permian Basin, joined officials from the Town of Pecos City and Pecos Chamber of Commerce, along with Pecos Economic Development Corp. president Ken Winkles for the ceremony, at a site between the Comfort Inn and Country Club Drive on the north Interstate 20 service road. It’s one of two food franchises scheduled to locate at the site, with a Dickey’s Barbeque planned for the corner of I-20 and Country Club Drive.

Domino’s had a site at Adams and Johnson streets in Pecos in the mid-1980s, before pulling out of the area when oil prices collapsed. The company has already opened new stores in recent years in Andrews, Monahans and Fort Stockton, and Gerety said the Pecos location would be its biggest area site, with a 2,400 square-foot building on the one-acre lot.

“It’s going to have the most parking we’ve ever had for a Domino’s. Most of the time we acquire half-acre lots,” he said. “We’ll have room for plenty of trucks.”

He said Andrews set an opening sales record back in 2013, before running into a ‘pizza valley’ when oil prices declined at the end of 2014. “We endure it, but we have a business model where we’re at or exceeding  the national average we’re doing really well, and we have that in every oil town we’re in.”

The new location has been vacant for years, and will be the first food location at the Country Club Drive/Interstate 20 intersection since Stripes relocated its store to State Highway 17 two years ago.

“We decided we wanted to be close to two different parts of the community,” Gerety said. “Directly behind us are the majority of residents of Pecos, and we’re going to have a place that’s not covered up in oilfield traffic, so the convenience is there.

“The last piece is we wanted to be close to the oilfield workers. There are so many businesses along I-20 that everything at this point is geared that way, so it doesn’t take that long to get lunch or dinner,” he added.

The new store will also be close to the six hotels in the Country Club Drive area, which Gerety said is also a major source of business.

“With the oil boom in Midland, we have two busy times – 6 to 8 and 10 to midnight, because all the guys from the oilfield come home, and they just want to order,” he said. “They get on their app and order and we deliver to them, and that has been a real key to our success.

Fehrs Construction of Seminole, which has built a number of new buildings in Pecos in recent years, including the city’s new fire hall, is handling construction, and Gerety said the company has done buildings for Domino’s in other area cities, and the overall building will be 4,000 square feet, with space for a second tenant.