Year in review: Transportation industry expanded in Portales

PNT Staff Reports

In 2010, growth in the local trucking business promised about 100 new jobs for the Portales area, on top of other advances in the local business scene.

In February, Greatwide Logistics Inc. began to operate in Portales after winning a countywide milk-hauling contract with Dairy Farmers of America. The company hired dozens of local employees and entered into contracts with local vendors.

At the same time, Western Dairy Transport LLC branched out into new non-dairy hauling markets, after losing the DFA contract to Greatwide and laying of about 75 workers in late 2009. In early 2010, WDT consolidated its operations in Portales and planned to bring back at least 65 positions and move 65 employees from its temporary site in Curry County.

The company was expected to hire dozens more people as it expanded.

“As of now, between WDT and Greatwide, our transportation industry is already 30 percent larger than when it was at its peak in 2009,” Roosevelt County Community Development Corporation Director Greg Fisher said.

Fisher said Portales was also poised to expand in areas such as truck and tank servicing, motels, apartments and warehouses.

In other 2010 business news:

• Papa Murphy’s Take ‘N’ Bake Pizza closed and then reopened under new management.

The store first opened in Portales in the fall of 2009 and closed about nine months later. Then, in October 2010, new owners Kevin and Donna Bond and Oma Creighton reopened the store.

“We’ve gotten a very positive response from the community,” Kevin Bond said as the trio prepared to open.

• A new Stripes convenience store opened late this year at Avenue D and 18th Street.

In August, Stripes Vice President of Marketing Rod Martin said the store would create 18-22 jobs.

“We recognize that Portales has had a number of positive additions in the past few years, and opening a new store in this area makes sense to our business and is an added benefit to the local economy,” Martin said.

• Developers began a $2 million renovation on the long-vacant Portales Inn late in 2010 with plans to turn it into a high-class hotel with bars and restaurants on the first floor.

Bob Morrow of Maxwell Group LLC said he hoped to begin opening the food and beverage establishments in the spring, and start hosting guests in late spring or early summer.

Morrow and his group planned to renovate the hotel, to be renamed The Grand, in the presidential style, with elaborate decorations and a focus on U.S. presidents. The design includes a micro-brewed beer bar, a wine and liquor bar, a sandwich shop, coffee shop, a bakery and a fine dining area.