By Victoria Fregoso and Ernie Over

(Riverton) - A crowd gathered on Federal Boulevard across from City Hall in Riverton Thursday morning to break ground for the new McDonald’s restaurant. “We are officially starting a new store location for McDonald’s,” said Bob Luck, Owner of the McDonald’s in Riverton. The new store is expected to open by August. Watch the video below to see the ground breaking and hear from Bob Luck.

“We’ll have a state-of-the-art store at our North Federal location,” said Luck.  ”We’ll have all the newest bells and whistles from McDonald’s plus a PlayPlace that will include a toddler section and an older kid section with four levels,” Luck said. “Our store decor will be modern and bold and I think people will really like it. The outside of the building will be really sharp.”

Luck said the new store is a 45-87, meaning it will be 45 feet wide and 87 feet long, not including the play land area out front. It’s McDonald’s latest design for a store, he said.

An artist's rendering of the front elevation of the new Riverton McDonald's

Luck said the new store will also have more employees that the present store on West Main, which will be closed and ultimately razed. “We have close to 50 employees now including workers and supervisors, and we’ll be adding between 10 and 20 new positions,” Luck said. The new store will feature a two lane drive through, similar to the Lander store.

The new design of McDonald’s restaurants will be visible both inside and outside of the store, with the interior design and ordering process reflecting the future of McDonald’s Restaurants worldwide and the latest in food preparation and cooking equipment. “Our new low-oil  fryers will use 50 percent less oil and will be frequently filtered throughout the day for a fresher and cleaner tasting product,” Luck said. He also noted the restaurant will have the McCafe brands along with blended ice products and smoothies in addition to the regular McDonald’s fare.

“I’m really excited about this new store, it’s in a highly visible area, we’ll have better ingress and egress for cars and parking and I think it will work out well,” he said. Luck noted that the new location will have state-of-the-art security and camera systems inside and out and that an Energy Management System would reduce  the restaurant’s energy consumption.

After the new restaurant opens, on the site of the former V-1 gas and propane station across the street from Riverton City Hall, Luck said the old restaurant will be “de arched” and any resemblance to a McDonald’s restaurant will be removed. “We’ll remove all the equipment from the store and most likely will demolish the site and sell the property.”

The non drive-through side of the restaurant

General contractor for the project is Epic Construction of Centennial, Colo, a firm that erects new McDonald’s buildings around the region. “We will be using local sub-contractors as much as possible,” Luck said.

“Of course we’ll have a big grand opening when the restaurant is finished, with prizes and giveaways and such,” Luck said.

Riverton City and McDonald’s officials were present for the groundbreaking, including Mayor Ron Warpness  and McDonald’s Riverton store manager Alicia McKee and Luck’s area supervisor Jim Matthews. Representatives with Central Wyoming College and the Department of Workforce Services were also there to show support.