Family speaks about decision to sell iconic west Charlotte Dairy Queen
The ice cream parlor on Wilkinson Boulevard has been in operation for decades.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Derrick Walters and his family members have been operating the Dairy Queen on Wilkinson Boulevard in west Charlotte for decades. Running the business has truly been a family affair.
Walters, now a middle-aged man, said some of his earliest memories center around the Dairy Queen location in west Charlotte.
The ice cream parlor has become a fixture for people who have lived in the Ashley Park and Westover Hills communities.
Previous Coverage: Longtime Charlotte Dairy Queen up for sale, listed at $1.4 million
Walters said a combination of factors influenced the family’s decision to put the property on the market. He said one of the reasons is the fact that his family has received several offers to purchase the property. Walters also noted that his father, Lacy Walters, is 89 years old and is still helping to keep the business running.
“He’s been retired since he was 62,” the younger Walters said. “That’s when he quit receiving paychecks out of this Dairy Queen. If you do the math, that’s a good number of years still comes in here every morning, every day of the week, and he’s slowing down and he needs to slow down, it’s time – time for us to pass the torch.”
He also explained that the process of running a business has changed over the last several years.
“Labor’s changed, supplies changed, being able to get supplies. There have been times that there were items we could not get from our warehouse that were standard items,” Walters said. “All restaurants all businesses are facing these challenges. It’s not just us. Can we fight through them? Of course we can. And we will as long as we’re here.”
Walters said his family is so thankful for the support they have received over the years and he will miss hearing the stories from longtime customers.
“A lot of the other landmarks, we realize have closed up and we hate to be that next one, but there’s just different dynamics within our family that’s causing us to have to look forward and go in a different direction and you know, see what the rest of the world holds for us out there,” he said.
John Nichols, president of the Nichols Company, is a commercial real estate agent in Charlotte. He spoke about the appreciation of properties in the Charlotte area.
“I think we’ve appreciated some like 20 percent In the past year, but it’s not just here. It’s everywhere. It’s happening. I mean, I grew up in Brevard, North Carolina, Transylvania County, and they’ve seen like a 24 percent appreciation up there as well,” Nichols said.
He noted that business owners have been able to make good money off properties in up-and-coming neighborhoods. He referenced the property value increases that have happened in Charlotte’s NoDa community.
“These artists that went over there that bought buildings 20 years ago, and there was a little artists colony well, those guys are selling and making tons of money,” he said.
Walters said his family has no timeline as to when they hope to sell the Dairy Queen.
“We’re just waiting to see what happens and when we originally listed this, we went into it with the thoughts in mind, ‘let’s put it out there and see what happens.’ That’s where we are in the process right now,” Walters said. “It’s listed. It’s not sold. We’re still here. We’re gonna be here until something does happen.”
Walters said he is hopeful that he may be able to sell the business to another Dairy Queen operator who will keep the business a Dairy Queen.
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