Businesses double up to capitalize on western expansion - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Businesses double up to capitalize on western expansion

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Dubuque (KWWL) -- It's becoming a trend: seeing double when it comes to businesses.  Dozens of businesses have opened on Dubuque's west end in recent years, and for many, the west end stores are actually duplicates of existing businesses.

It's perhaps Dubuque's equivalent of the Manifest Destiny; a history term that says America was destined to spread from coast to coast through westward expansion. All the while, keeping the original colonies while going west and getting more. The concept in play here: expanding Dubuque's business areas west toward Asbury while maintaining a downtown presence.

The Asbury Plaza Hy-Vee opened in 2000 -- and was arguably the catalyst for more stores to take the plunge out west to accomodate Dubuquers and welcome others in.

"I think more and more people come to dubuque. It becomes more of a hub versus just the people in Dubuque shopping. Like people from Dyersville and the surrounding communities come here," Hy-Vee manager Rob Biggin said.

For some owners, heading west is a necessity to stay competitive.

"We felt we had to because the city was moving west. It was just a good business plan and our downtown business is small, so we had to get more room to wash more cars and it worked out well," Miracle Car Wash owner Chuck Tonn said.

Even with moving west for new customers or more convenience for existing shoppers, keeping original central or downtown locations keeps repeat customers coming back.

"The customers are used to certain location, they enjoy shopping there. They know where to find everything. It's just needed as far as growth to have more sales," Biggin said.

Many people say the trend of moving west is just going to keep growing.

"The first year and a half, two years, was really tough, but now with everything going, with the McDonald's and Sherwin Williams and Holiday Inn Express opening up in the next couple of months, we're very happy that we're out her and it's a great little neighborhood," Tonn said.

Los Aztecas is another example of a business moving west. The Mexican restaurant tells us a second location will be opening on the west end at the old Hudson's building in July.

Cafe Manna Java, originally downtown, opened a western location in February. The owner says customers often said they love the restaurant but don't go downtown much, so opening a second location out west will bring those people in more often.

Not everyone has survived out west, especially bigger chain businesses.  Office Depot, Pier One Imports, Cici's Pizza, Starbucks, Hudson's and Milo's have all closed recently.

Online Reporter:  Jamie Grey

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