One of the new businesses that is now open is the new Harris Teeter Fuel location at Waterside Crossing near Chillfire. Not only is the gas there (and at other locations in the area) 15 cents per gallon cheaper right now than in Lincolnton, but this weekend (thru Sunday) with your Harris Teeter VIC card, they'll knock another 20 cents per gallon off the price!
Harris Teeter has been offering the best deal of the gas promotions for over a year now. You can buy a $50 gas card for $40 when you spend $50 or more on groceries (before taxes)...that's a 20% savings. Now that they've got the Harris Teeter Fuel open, VIC customers can use their VIC card for 3 cents per gallon off every day--and for 20 cents per gallon off this weekend.
About downtown Lincolnton: Tom Noblot told the Lincoln Herald that he decided to make the move because his rent was probably going up at his former location next to Lowe's Home Improvement store. Moving downtown saved him half the rent and gave him almost twice the space--and he said it also increased his visibility and foot traffic substantially.
The Art Crawl Friday night (May 20th) was an excellent opportunity for people to see some of the new stores that are now open and to learn just how "artsy" Lincolnton has become.
Another business that will open soon is a new car dealership in the former Stasney location on Generals Blvd. Mike and Sandra Gause have operated Carolina Auto Direct Sales in Mooresville since 2006 and are looking forward to opening their new Lincolnton location. They'll have a service department, too, but won't do body work--at least not for now. They hope to be open by mid-June.
You may have seen the TV report or read elsewhere about Delta Apparel's plans to close its Maiden facility and move those operations to Honduras. It's a matter of money, of course. The good news is that the bad news about the closing comes at a time when employers are having trouble filling jobs. North Carolina's unemployment rate dropped to an eight year low in April according to figures released this week. Lincoln County's unemployment rate is the 17th lowest of the 100 counties in the state and Catawba, Gaston and Cleveland also saw their rates decline in March--the last month for which county rates have been released.
We had reported months ago that Burger King was considering a move back into the Lincolnton market. That appears to have fizzled. But another chain is considering Lincolnton. It's not a food chain, but they are very much into food. Sheetz, which is a lot like QuikTrip, may be considering taking over an existing location near US321 or possibly building a new store. Sheetz already has two new stores that opened recently in the Hickory area.
The weather this weekend may hamper some activities that were planned; we're hoping it won't be a problem for one event at Hecht Realty on Highway 16.
Bob Hecht's love for kids is well-known. He gave a huge contribution for playground equipment at the Rescue Squad Park, then headed up a fundraiser with his friend Spero Stathopoulos, owner of the Captain's Cap (another super nice guy) to raise money for more.
This summer, Bob and his wife Linda will host their ninth annual Day at the Lake at their lakefront home, where foster children and others learn to water ski, swim in the pool and enjoy a cookout.
Bob has also sponsored the special needs kids day the first day of the Denver Days festival, a time when special needs youngsters could enjoy the rides at the event without having to handle the crowds other days. Thanks to Bob, the special needs day has been free for those kids and their families. Denver Days is being cut to a two-day affair this year; not sure how that will affect that project.
This Saturday, Hecht Realty will host its Slide Into Summer event--and yes, it's a community event geared toward kids. There'll be free food, live music, a corn hole contest, a bounce house and more.
Bob doesn't like a lot of personal praise, but we just had to give him a verbal pat on the back. He deserves it.
One final note of business news. You may recall that we had predicted way back in 2015 that oil prices would likely go to about $60 a barrel this summer. Then several things happened we hadn't expected and it looked like prices might continue very low for a bit longer.
Now another "wild card" has had a significant effect. That big fire in Canada that has stopped production in the oil sands area of that country has helped to push prices upward. Crude gained another 4% this week...and that means the price has nearly doubled since it hit the lowest point in recent history the second week in February. From barely over $25 a barrel, it's now just short of $50 a barrel and appears that it may eclipse that mark soon.
Interestingly enough, the glut of oil is actually continuing. Stockpiles are not diminishing significantly. Gas prices have now risen to over $2 a gallon almost everywhere ($2.10 was the lowest we saw in Lincolnton on Friday; you could still buy for less than $2 a gallon in the Denver area). Don't worry too much...while there may be an increase, we don't expect you'll be paying $3 a gallon anytime this year. Of coure, just like the big fire--things can happen to change that.
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