Short Creek’s 1st dollar store breaks ground on recently auctioned FLDS land

Exterior of a Dollar General store, date and location not specified | Photo courtesy of Dollar General, St. George News

COLORADO CITY, Ariz. – A formerly vacant Colorado City, Arizona, property, recently auctioned off by the United Effort Plan Trust, will soon house the very first national dollar store chain to ever take up residence in the predominantly polygamist community.

Slated to open in spring 2016, a new Dollar General is currently under construction at the corner of U.S. Highway 389 and Central Street in Colorado City, just a few blocks from Mohave Community College. Ground was broken at the site on Aug. 24.

A Dollar General store is currently under construction in Colorado City, Arizona, date and location of photo not specified | Photo courtesy of Dollar General, St. George News
A Dollar General store is currently under construction in Colorado City, Arizona, date and location of photo not specified | Photo courtesy of Dollar General, St. George News

“About 70 percent of the communities we serve have populations of less than 20,000 people,” Mary Kathryn Colbert, communications coordinator for Dollar General, said, “so it’s a huge part of our business moving into rural communities.”

The small border towns of Colorado City and neighboring Utah town Hildale, nicknamed “Short Creek” by local residents, have served as home-base cities for the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Non-FLDS and formerly FLDS families are increasingly moving into the area, however, as FLDS properties are sold or auctioned off by the UEP Trust, a charitable trust reorganized by Utah’s 3rd District Court to oversee housing solutions and trust benefits.

The property where Dollar General is being constructed was a UEP-held property until recently, when it was sold by the trust at an auction, UEP Trust employee and consultant Isaac Wyler said.

“Now it’s gone commercial and moving forward as a business,” Wyler said.

The new store will be 9,000 square feet, Colbert said, and will bring between six and 10 jobs to the community.

“Every time 10 new jobs come in, that’s 10 less people without work,” Wyler said.

Wyler said a business of this kind coming into Short Creek is big news for local residents.

Dollar General strives to move into communities, many of them rural, where residents don’t have a lot of nearby places to shop, Colbert said.

“We try to help out people that may not have that many options,” she said.

Some factors Dollar General considers when moving into an area are demographic trends, traffic patterns and existence of competing businesses.

“We’re hoping to come in and be people’s fill-in stop,” Colbert said.

None of Dollar General’s stores are franchised, Colbert said, so the Colorado City business will be owned by Dollar General Corporation.

Dollar General is leasing the property.

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