In-N-Out, a burger joint well known to California natives, will be opening a new location in Medford later this year. This particular restaurant will pave the way for the franchise in the state, but it is already causing some concern with its soon to be neighbors.
In-N-Out is popular among the west coast population, especially teens, and is known to draw in quite a crowd with backed up traffic. Fans of the franchise will be excited that they will no longer need to drive two hours to Redding, the nearest location, in order to get their fries and shakes, but others are concerned about what negative effects this new business might have on the city.
The new In-N-Out will take up residence in the former location of a Shell gas station at 1968 Crater Lake Highway. This location is attached to the Rogue Valley Mall’s parking lot, which is causing some mall employees unrest in regards to the possibility of a substantial rise in traffic.
Kari Erickson, is an Assistant Sales Leader of Justice for Girls, and is concerned about the influx of cars in the area, “Traffic is going to be chaotic for the mall.” Ericson goes on to suggest that business in the Rogue Valley Mall will increase, “It (the new In-N-Out) could even affect the mall. They’ll probably go eat and then come shop. Even Portland area people may come here.”
So what does this mean for the employees trying to get to work on time? Rogue Valley Mall workers will be allowed extra time to get to and from work, or need to begin planning on re-routing their normal commutes. “Once the In-N-Out opens, I’m not going to go that way. I’m actually going to try to find a different way to come in through.”
Another mall employee, Sam Pariani, a cashier at Kohl’s and Southern Oregon University student, explains that he will leave for work earlier than he has in the past. “I usually allow myself about a half an hour but I can make it in twenty minutes if I need to. I’ll probably have to throw another fifteen minutes on to that, if not more.” Sam, a fan of In-N-Out himself, is conflicted about the news of the impending eatery. “I love In-N-Out, but I would rather it be somewhere else.”
So what is the benefit of In-N-Out coming to Medford? In the words of Kari Erickson, “They have good milkshakes, I’ll give them that.” The former gas station has been torn down and construction workers are seen at the site daily, but an opening date has not yet been released.