COOLIDGE — Fast growth in Coolidge has been met with demand for fast food. When will Coolidge get its long-awaited Burger King?

Approval for a franchise located at Arizona Boulevard and Vah Ki Inn Road was announced to much enthusiasm late last year, but since then the news seems to have gotten lost on the back burner.

At the most recent meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission, Coolidge Economic Development Director Gilbert Lopez confirmed that those plans had officially fallen through.

However, according to Lopez, another franchisee has come forward to put a Burger King at a different location, in front of the Coolidge Safeway.

“People still want to see a Burger King, so that’s pretty exciting,” Lopez said. “Our new contact has been working on the site plan, we think it will happen and they want it to be on the May agenda.”

No matter what happens with the new Burger King discussions, Lopez noted that the originally approved site plan could be attractive to any potential fast food franchise, as the location is permit-ready.

Lopez said that the mayor had recently noted long lines at McDonald's, indicating potential demand for at least another fast food outlet in the city. According to Lopez, restaurant companies are constantly looking at sales and population growth to determine the viability of opening a franchise.

“It’s all about the rooftops and demographics,” Lopez said. “Sometimes they’re way ahead of us looking at sales. But I’ll make phone calls, I’ll go on a website and let real estate people know, ‘Hey, Coolidge has a great site for you, please call if you’re interested.’”

On Wednesday night, the zoning board also approved a site plan for an RV and self-storage parking lot in the southern part of town, behind the Dollar General and between Spruell and Taylor avenues.

Other business items discussed at the meeting included zoning code amendments regarding guest homes and marijuana cultivation. The board approved limitations on growing marijuana outdoors to 5-acre parcels and only in agriculturally zoned districts. The latter amendment was approved by the zoning board last year but was not approved by the City Council at the time.


Aaron Dorman is the Casa Grande reporter at PinalCentral, covering government, schools, business and more. He can be reached at