Sheetz to open in early 2018, employ 70

From left, Downtown PKB Board of Directors President Lindsey Anderson, Downtown PKB Executive Director Wendy Shriver and Sheetz representative Nic Ridenhour hold a $1,000 check representing Sheetz’s contribution to Downtown PKB’s Partner Program Wednesday at the Blennerhassett Hotel. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

PARKERSBURG — Sheetz is scheduled to open its doors in Parkersburg in early 2018, but the company is already getting involved with Downtown PKB.

Company representatives presented a $1,000 check during Downtown PKB’s board of directors meeting Wednesday, marking the gas station/convenience store chain’s entry into the group’s Partner Program. In addition, Sheetz will be participating in Saturday’s Parkersburg Christmas Parade and is sponsoring the children’s crafts and coloring contest at Winterfest that afternoon and evening.

“We want to make an impact in this area,” Sheetz representative Nic Ridenhour said, speaking about the company’s charitable programs that include donating to children in need at Christmastime and supporting the Special Olympics.

The Sheetz location under construction at Third and Ann streets will be the first to open, with a target date of Jan. 11, Ridenhour said. The Seventh Street site next to Napoli’s should follow in mid-February.

“We don’t have firm dates because weather can change a lot of things,” he said.

Sheetz representative Nic Ridenhour, right, answers questions about the business’ two locations scheduled to open early next year during Wednesday’s Downtown PKB Board of Directors meeting at the Blennerhassett Hotel as Ripley Sheetz Manager Karissa Meredith, left, and Downtown PKB Executive Director Wendy Shriver listen. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

The two stores are expected to employ about 70 people, with the positions almost evenly split between full- and part-time, Ridenhour said.

The stores will “have all of our updated technologies, our newest designs,” he said. “We also want to raise the standards for retail. We want to raise the standards for customer service.”

And the company doesn’t plan to stop at two.

“If we get a great response from these two stores, we want to make a hard press” for additional sites, Ridenhour said. “The more stores we’re able to get in this area, the bigger the impact we can make.”

Last year, a Sheetz representative said the company was looking at as many as five locations in Parkersburg. A third one was announced in south Parkersburg, but the company decided in July not to go forward with it.

“We’re looking at multiple other locations, so the wheels are going to continue to turn on that,” Ridenhour said.

In a press release, Downtown PKB Executive Director Wendy Shriver said the Partner Program allows the group, which promotes the downtown area and economic development, to diversify its funding and help “connect the community to our mission.

“We are thrilled to have Sheetz join as our newest partner who believes in our mission and the work that we are doing to revitalize downtown,” she said.