SLO County businesses undergo shake-up

April 14, 2017

Applebee’s is leaving Paso Robles and three Radio Shack stores in San Luis Obispo County are shutting their doors. Meanwhile, Alaska Airlines has begun flying passengers into San Luis Obispo from Seattle and vice versa.

The Paso Robles Applebee’s closed on Sunday amid reports the chain plans to shut down up to 60 restaurants nationwide. Applebee’s comparable sales plummeted 7.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to an Investopedia article. Comparable sales are how a store performed in the most recent accounting period compared to the amount of revenue it generated in similar periods in the past.

DineEquity, which also owns IHOP, is the parent company of Applebee’s. IHOP revenue declined last year, as well, but not at the rate Applebee’s earnings fell.

Also last year, the Paso Robles Applebee’s made headlines when a pregnant Atascadero woman filed a claim stating a cook left a bloody fingertip in her salad.

With its parent company filing for bankruptcy, Radio Shack plans to soon close stores in San Luis Obispo, Grover Beach and Atascadero. Los Osos, Morro Bay and Paso Robles Radio Shack stores will remain open. The Los Osos and Morro Bay locations are independent dealers.

In all, Radio Shack is closing about 200 stores and evaluating its options on the remaining 1,300 locations, according to a press release issued by Radio Shack’s parent company General Wireless Operations.

“For a number of reasons, most notably the surprisingly poor performance of mobility sales, especially over recent months, we have concluded that the Chapter 11 process represents the best path forward for the company,” General Wireless stated in the bankruptcy announcement.

On Thursday, Alaska Airlines inaugurated its Seattle-San Luis Obispo route. The first flight traveled from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to SLO Thursday morning. A return flight then flew passengers from SLO to Seattle.

Alaska Airlines is now offering daily flights between Seattle and San Luis Obispo. The flights take about two hours and 40 minutes.

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Thank God. I had to buy a part at Radio Shack because Best Buy was out, due to their good prices. 2.5X more at Radio Shack. Ate at Applebees once. Horrid, dried out fish matched with soggy fries that must have been cold-soaked in oil overnight and microwaved, and would cause a riot in a school cafeteria. And a beer in a soapy glass. Can’t wait until the one in SLO goes belly up too! All the advertising in the world, on that they do not skimp, will not save them. I’ll go next door to Mickey D’s, maybe not the best menu but what they do they do right.

Stupidity is at the core of some of it. I used to like IHOP. The last time I went I ordered a nice (well, barely adequate) steak and a bunch of other stuff. Then, while I’m in the middle of my meal the waitress BRINGS THE CHECK. When I told the manager that was not only rude but incredibly stupid as I might have wanted something else, she could not have cared less. It was “policy”. When I wrote to corporate, their attitude was the same. IHOP deserves to go the way of the Piltdown Man, a creature who never existed and never should have. I will never step foot in one of those idiotic places again.

This is just the beginning. The internet has positioned itself to have a significant impact on retail sales. I hope that our local governments can come to terms with this that the world of retail sales is changing. Example, plain and simple, WalMart backed out of going to Atascadero. But Atascadero is Atascadero. I hope that a lesson can be learned from what Atascadero tried to do to WalMart by attempting to take advantage of WalMart with over $5 million dollars of contingency improvement for up to 1 1/2 miles away from the project. If the locals want quality development the doors should start opening and the welcome mat put out with a welcoming handshake instead of a hand put into their pocket book to steal as much as they can get.

I’m not sure how they do things in Atascadero, but SLO city officials fall all over themselves to bend the city over for fat cat developers and cut them a lucrative deal at the expenses of the citizens. Just look at the recent WestPac project where the city sold them a city parking lot for a fraction of its value and then doubled down by given the developers a massive tax break on top of it.

Same with the Copelands. The former mayor and City staff are completely corrupt. The City should be prevented from “selling” (if you can even call it that) any City property outside of an open competitive bidding process. SLO corruption goes back decades. Madonna got work from Dave Romero that was very poorly done. It is literally etched in stone (concrete) and I can show it to you. If you were a homeowner and poured curb, gutter and sidewalk like that the City would make you rip it all out and try again.

Thanks for bringing that up. I was mostly referring to those businesses that are out of the good old boy link.

I love the SLO-Seattle connection…for so many years I have had to go to LA or SF before going on to Seattle….I hope it lasts.

Arent they building a bigger terminal so that those bigger jets can fly from here.

The runway is what determines the limitations on plane size, not the size of the terminal.

Strictly speaking, yes. However, a 737-700 can comfortably operate on the current runway, but if you tried to handle a 737’s worth of passengers at the current terminal, it would be completely and utterly overwhelmed. So yes, in this case, a larger terminal will be needed if SLO airport wants to be able to handle the maximum size of commercial aircraft that can land on the current runway. But before that happens, we will need to get the passenger counts up to be able to fill such an aircraft.

I was recently boarding a flight from Phoenix on an CRJ900 when they started asking for volunteers to take a later flight to reduce the weight of the plane. It was raining in SLO and we were told it was dangerous to land a full CRJ900 when the SLO runway is wet — makes one think twice about coming in aboard a 737!

Having a wet runway does change a lot of things, but believe it or not, despite its smaller size and capacity, a CRJ900 actually has a longer runway requirement than both a Boeing 737-700 and an Airbus A318.

Bigger terminals means more traffic, not bigger aircraft. The runways would need to longer to accommodate the larger Aircraft

They’re not bigger, a commuter jet holding about 70 people.

While it’s great to have a non-stop to Seattle, the regional jets are terrible to sit in for that long. Took one to Dallas recently, by the end of it I was miserable. Sadly I predict this will fail. Anyone remember other ventures such as flights to Vegas, Denver, Salt Lake? Need bigger planes, which cannot land here. Can’t extend the runway but we can spend millions on a new terminal

Anything… will be better then what we’ve had.

I have enjoyed flights to Phoenix, which is also a good hop from here, and the fact I can get to anyplace from there in one or two stops. I guess for some there’s always something to complain about in every good deed.

Also, the Vegas flights ceased because Delta pulled out of small airports, so we lost them. If you want to get to Vegas, can still do that from Santa Maria. Denver is coming back this year. Can’t recall any directs SLO to Salt Lake.

Delta never had flights from San Luis Obispo to Las Vegas – that was America West (which got purchased by US Airways, which got purchased by American Airlines.) Delta’s flights were from SLO to their hub in Salt Lake City. Delta stopped these flights in 2008 and shortly after Delta pulled out, so did American. Delta officials said if they knew American was going to pull out as well, they would have stayed in SLO. Hopefully Delta will start flights from Santa Maria to Salt Lake now that United has pulled out of Santa Maria

The E175 is a real passenger plane, not a stretched business jet like the CRJ’s. A great addition for smaller airports like SLO. It is comfortable with more room than than the giant sardine cans. The runway cannot be extended because the corrupt SLO City government has allowed Gary Grossman to buy cheap ag land that could not be developed due to proximity to the airport and changed the rules so he could develop it, screwing, in no particular order, the people who use the airport, the airlines, the seller of the land, and other other developers who are naive and honest enough to play by what they thought were the rules.

I agree 1000%! The Embraer 175 is a wonderful airplane. They are modern, well designed and feel quite roomy for a regional jet, and they can accommodate full-sized carry-ons in the overhead bins (unlike the CRJs). It would be great if SkyWest started using them for their SLO flights.

Sorry, but the runway length is not the issue. The current runway will accommodate far larger aircraft than the airlines could ever fill even if the passenger count doubled. The larger capacity MD-82 and E175 can easily land on the current runway. The current runway can also comfortably accommodate the even larger capacity 737-700 at max weight under the right conditions (and has several times in the past). You can also comfortable operate an A318 and A319 on the current runway. It will be quite some time before the airlines could fill an aircraft with that capacity.

The old terminal, however, can barely handle the current passenger load. When more than one flight is departing at the same time, the single security line stretches all the way to the car rental counters. Once past security, you will be facing a crowded gate area and a shortage of seats. Don’t even get me started on the cramped quarters at the ticket counters or the antiquated and super slow baggage claim.

The new terminal will be roomy and spacious with a modern design that is up to security standards. There will be multiple gates with plenty of room and two jet bridges. There will be three security lines including a much needed line for pre-check passengers.

So yes, we need the new terminal far more than a runway extension.

The market, again, has spoken.

Survival of the fittest!