No plans yet on what to do with IHOP
October 11, 2011
CARSON CITY, Nev. – When it comes to what the plans are for the shuttered restaurant in south Carson City where a gunman shot and killed four people and injured seven last month, IHOP isn’t talking.
IHOP spokeswoman Rhonda Barnat, interviewed by phone Tuesday, would say only, “Right now we are focused on the needs our employees and our guests.”
Barnat declined to say how many employees were out of work, what if anything IHOP was doing for the employees, or whether any decision had been made on the vacant restaurant’s fate.
Emotions in town are mixed about what to do with the spot.
Ron Kendall, a member of the Carson City Chamber Alumni, said he wanted to rally support to reopen the restaurant in the same location. Kendall said he spoke with IHOP regional manager Peter Kouis on Tuesday, and Kouis reportedly said there would be a decision by week’s end on what to do with the building.
For others who witnessed the mayhem of Sept. 6, the IHOP should never reopen in that same location.
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“They can expect to not have business,” said Kevin Carrick, who along with his three breakfast companions escaped the restaurant through a rear exit when gunman Eduardo Sencion started shooting. “I think that’s an asinine idea, to reopen there and act like nothing’s happened.”
Carrick said he suggested to Kouis that IHOP remodel the former Chili’s restaurant near the Carson City Walmart and open a new IHOP there. Others have suggested the former Sizzler on North Carson Street as a new location.
“I would love to have them reopen in town,” said Carrick. “But to reopen there it is telling us they don’t respect us and they don’t care about what happened.”
In a letter to the editor of the Nevada Appeal, Bruce Magner of Gardnerville offered another option: Raze the building and make it a memorial.
“Shouldn’t we replace the building pad with memorial trees, grass, benches, and a memorial plaque to represent those innocent victims lost on that tragic day,” he said. “There are plenty of building spaces available in the area. Isn’t the IHOP property a place to be considered (sacred) for those families who lost loved ones. … “