New Businesses, New Buildings, Improved Sites

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The phrase that best describes business progress for 2006 is "new and improved."

The Stage store is one of the big new businesses making the Rim Country its home. The clothing store opened in May at the Rim Country Mall.

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Cindy Maack has been making her mark in Pine for many years as owner of the Ponderosa Market. The little store grew by leaps and bounds last year with the construction of a brand new shop, featuring wider aisles and a bigger selection of products.

Stage brought style, selection and value, along with name brands, such as Tommy Hilfiger, Liz Claiborne, Chaps, Levi's, Carter's and Nike. These are its goals for all the small communities it serves.

Among the other new businesses arriving in the Rim Country during 2006 (but not all) were Chester's Chicken in Star Valley, both the Artists of the Rim and Down the Street galleries. Main Street Grille opened in the historic Journigan House on Main Street. Chrisy's Cottage took up residence in the Swiss Village Shops. The Comforts of Home store in Ponderosa Square welcomed Living Reflections Photography into its space. The Beverage House opened at the Payson Center shopping area.

Several longtime Rim businesses expanded or moved. Payson Automotive Services and Payson Driveline expanded its operation into Tonto Basin. The Nifty 50s Diner in Pine moved from the west side of Highway 87 to the east side and up the street into a custom-designed site. The Apothecary Shop moved from the Main Street side of the Sawmill Crossing shops to the Beeline side. Printing by George made a similar move and acquired new owners Tom and Micheale Franey. Coyote Auto moved from Star Valley to Payson's Main Street.

With the arrival of Stage at the Rim Country Mall, several businesses that had shops in the building relocated to different sites.

Computech and Garden of Eden both moved. Computech left its site in the Ponderosa Square and moved to Mario's Borgata where Garden of Eden resided. Garden of Eden moved to the south side of town, near Rim Country Realty.

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Nearly $20 million will have been invested by the Tonto Apache Tribe when it completes its new Mazatzal Hotel and Casino. Plans for the expansion were announced in 2005, with the bulk of the construction taking place through 2006.

Another business acquiring new owners in 2006 was Energy West, it was purchased by SemStream. Tree Pro was sold by founder Shane Owen to Cameron Vaughn.

Remodeling all the rage

Improvements were big business for quite a few of the area's stores. The Ponderosa Market in Pine moved into its new building, providing new and improved services for its customers in Pine and Strawberry.

Wal-Mart, Safeway, Bashas' and Ace Hardware all did serious remodeling and brought in a variety of new product lines. The changes made shopping a bit of an adventure, but there is nothing wrong with having some fun when meeting your household's need for food and supplies.

Other area businesses started or continued new construction the Tonto Apache Tribe continued work on its multimillion dollar hotel-casino project. PostNet broke ground and started building a new shop in the Swiss Village. Macky's made plans to move into the Sawmill Crossing and began remodeling space to accommodate the popular restaurant.

Looking back at the assorted changes for businesses throughout the Rim Country, 2006 was a busy year.

Congratulate your neighbors for growing business in the Rim Country.

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