Cortez McDonald’s closing to be rebuilt

Restaurant will shut down Feb. 18; employees to work in nearby cities

The McDonald’s building will be torn down and a new one built on the same spot. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

The McDonald’s building will be torn down and a new one built on the same spot.

The Cortez McDonald’s is closing Feb. 18, and a new building will reopen at the same location on Main Street in early June.

“We love the community and are glad we can be part everything going on,” said soon-to-be franchise owner Brett Bronson. Bronson is in the process of buying franchises spread out among Cortez, Durango, Farmington and Aztec from his father. One is under construction in Farmington.

The new building will be about the size as it is now, and have a new double drive-through that will eliminate the current tight turn. It will also have a new brick exterior and a rejuvenated look, Bronson said.

“The inside will be kind of modern, not overly colorful,” he said.

The kitchen and front counter will be laid out more efficiently, and the decorations will include a stylized fixture of Mesa Verde on the wall.

The play area will be replaced by a smaller area that may have slides, a climbing wall and educational video games, but the plans for the area have not been finalized.

Franchise owners are required to rebuild their locations every 40 years, but Bronson decided to rebuild the Cortez location about six years early.

During construction, the 30 current employees will carpool to work in Durango, Bronson said. Employees in Durango and Cortez will work reduced hours to accommodate one another, and the drivers will be reimbursed for gas.

The company is “making every effort to make it not too much of a hardship for anybody,” Bronson said.

Bronson couldn’t say how much the construction project will cost, but the expenses are shared with the corporation.

“McDonald’s works closely in partnership with their owner/operators to update restaurants to keep them relevant for consumers in a variety of ways from design to menu options,” said Debbie Fitzgerald, a representative for McDonald’s.

Construction will be on a strict schedule and should take almost exactly 120 days. Corporate management received bids from a lot of local subcontractors but Bronson was unable to say how many had been awarded.

McDonald’s will be looking to hire 40 new people including managers and will be taking applications in early April. The restaurant is looking to have 70 people on staff for the summer.

Interested applicants can visit