Monthly briefing for June 2018

Pizza, coffee and more

By Mike Lewis
Workers are transforming a former Ryan’s restaurant property in Martinsburg, W.Va., into a pizzeria, coffee shop and retail space. Part of the 10,799-square-foot building is being remodeled into a Starbucks coffee shop and a Blaze Pizza restaurant.
Blaze, based in Pasadena, Calif., is the fastest-growing restaurant chain in U.S. history, according to “Business Insider.” It has more than 250 locations in about 40 states, offering freshly made, fast, customized pizzas.
The Martinsburg Planning Commission approved the site-plan application on Nov. 1. Tenant spaces for two retail units that are 3,286 square feet and 1,914 square feet are envisioned between the coffee shop and pizzeria, according to planning documents submitted to the city.
Ryan’s closed the Martinsburg location in fall 2015 after about 12 years in business, according to city records. Its Hagerstown, Md., location closed in February 2016. United Buffet and Grill has obtained a building permit to revamp the eatery into a restaurant serving Asian and American food.



WTBO flips format, frequency

CUMBERLAND, Md. — Cumberland radio station WTBO has changed to an “Oldies” format, playing a variety of songs from the late 1950s to the late 1970s.

This is the music that aired on WTBO when it was new, the company said in a news release.

In addition, WTBO is moving down the FM dial from 105.7 to 97.9. The AM dial position of 1450 will not change. The new 97.9 frequency provides the best possible signal to the city of Cumberland, according to the release.

WTBO is also home to the Baltimore Orioles, Maryland Terrapins and Fort Hill Sentinels.

WTBO’s sister station, WFRB 105.3, has added 105.7 FM, the former WTBO FM frequency, to serve the Cumberland, Lavale and Rawlings areas. WFRB is available on 105.3 FM and 105.7 FM.

Notes and quotes

Things seen and overheard around the region last month, compiled by reporter Mike Lewis:

‘More to work with’

Dan Spedden

“We’ve got an inventory of about 2,200 hotel rooms here in Washington County (Md.). And we do a lot with that. But some of my colleagues to the east, their counties have 8,000, 9,000, 11,000 hotel rooms. So we’re adding a new hotel very soon. Bowman Hospitality’s going to build another one. And there’s another one … planned off I-81 up north near Maugansville. So that’ll expand our inventory and give us a whole lot more to work with. It’s just an exiting time to see our industry going through a little bit of growth right now.”

Dan Spedden, president of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau

‘Replacing an excellent team’

“I think the biggest challenge, and also an opportunity, in the next few years will be replacing all the experienced employees we have on staff. Over the next year and half, one-third of the staff can retire and another one-third can retire within the next three years. The challenge will be replacing an excellent team of people and replacing them with an unknown staff.”

Tyrone Brandyburg, superintendent of the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

‘Ambassadors for our town’

“When you feel that sense of love for where you live, you naturally want to share it. And in a place like Jefferson County (W.Va.), that often happens in the form of inviting people to come visit and supporting tourism, writing a Yelp! review about your favorite restaurant or posting on Instagram about the place you live. So we can become ambassadors for our town when we love it, and it helps other people fall in love with it, too, and it helps our communities thrive economically.”

Melody Warnick, author of “This Is Where You Belong: Finding Home Wherever You Are,” in an interview at the Jefferson County (W.Va.) tourism summit.

Keep those goods moving

Top logistics, warehousing and distribution employers in Franklin County, Pa. (Numbers are approximate.)

• Procter & Gamble Northeast Mixing Center — 900

• Ulta Beauty Distribution — 600

• Target Distribution Center No. 589 — 590

• Corelle Brands — 520

• Food Lion Inc. — 450

• Staples Direct — 350

• National Book Network — 320

• Ingram Book Co. — 285

• Sears Holdings (K-Mart Specialty Center) — 200

• Hoffman Transport — 125

Source: Franklin County Area Development Corp.