McDonald’s Then and Now


This is a more recent Then and Now than what I usually do. But we just hit the 10-year anniversary, so it’s time to let ourselves take a look back.

Carson City’s first McDonald’s was built in the early 1970s at the corner of Carson and Winnie Streets. It lasted about 40 years, but by the 21st century the building was in rough shape. They could have just remodeled it and kept on trucking, but in March of 2014 they got bigger plans. They demolished the entire building, and rebuilt a new McDonald’s on the same spot.

The construction was a pretty remarkable achievement too. In this day and age construction takes forever. Even a remodel can take ages and ages. But the winds all aligned for this McDonald’s, and they were able to have their grand opening just three months after demolition started. Even looking back now I’m double checking dates to make sure I have that timeline right. Demolition was around March 28th, and the grand opening party was on June 22th. This thing came together in record time.

The reconstruction didn’t come without its side effects, though. The new McDonald’s brought in so many customers that it negatively affected business at the McDonald’s up the street. That restaurant, in the parking lot of the old Kmart, ending up closing just a year later.

The other McDonald’s at the south end of town must have been envious about the new look. They went through a remodel of their own in 2018. Not a full rebuild, just a remodel. But even that took 2 months, 2/3 the time of this full rebuild.

It’s now been 10 years since the demolition, so this “new” McDonald’s has just finished its first decade. It probably has many more in it.

Bonus Photos

A couple more looks at the old red-roofed McDonald’s.

Plus a few re-construction photos.

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