After nearly 33 years of operating in downtown Winter Park, the 7-Eleven store closed its doors for good on Friday, March 29.
The decision to close the convenience store was made at the corporate level, according to Jeff Adams, an employee of 7-Eleven who is helping with the move.
The 7-Eleven store was the anchor tenant at the property when the building was initially built in 1979, according to Chas McConnell, owner of the property.
McConnell commented that he believed 7-Eleven stores are trying to get away from their corporately owned stores where they do not own the building or the property. In the case of the 7-Eleven in Winter Park, the store did not own either.
McConnell also commented that he believed the company is trying to focus its stores in areas that high have a higher population density, unlike Winter Park, which operates on a more seasonal timeline with the flows of tourism.
The store is "closing on a high note," McConnell said, after having a very successful weekend during the SnowBall Music Festival. The weekend of SnowBall, the store had more business than any Jazz Festival weekend and Blues Festival weekend combined, according to McConnell.
The big question now is what will occupy the vacant storefront that was previously 7-Eleven.
"As the owner, I am trying to keep all of my options open," McConnell said.
"My biggest concern is having a storefront, such as the 7-Eleven, empty for any period of time," he said.
McConnell recently applied for, and was awarded, a liquor license for the location according to Drew Nelson, Winter Park town manager.
McConnell declined to comment on what he plans to do at the location.
"There are a lot of moving parts right now," McConnell said. "I don't want to say anything prematurely."