A meeting of the Keizer City Council drew two Portland television news crews to town Monday, Dec. 2. The big event of the night: approving the use of directional signage for the opening of In-N-Out at Keizer Station.
If the announcement of an opening date was expected, Community Development Director Nate Brown made it clear that the city is as much in the dark as everyone else.
“We do not have an official date, they will not release it until just before the opening. They have not shared the date or, as far as I know, come to a firm conclusion of when that date is,” Brown said.
In-N-Out typically does not announce the opening of a new store until about 48 hours before it actually happens.
The council did approve the use of additional signage in and around Keizer Station to direct traffic when the opening occurs. No specific sites were designated, but the burger chain and its contracted traffic team will not be allowed to create dedicated lanes of travel. The approval of the signage means that In-N-Out has cleared the final city hurdles and is free to open when it chooses.
“They are planning a small army of people to help and hiring a traffic control firm that is trained to deal with the safety issues opening presents,” Brown said.
In addition to more than two dozen contracted traffic helpers, the Keizer Police Department (KPD) will deploy a combination of on- and off-duty officers to assist. The company plans to reimburse the city for police overtime.
Chief John Teague said In-N-Out initially wanted KPD assistance for two weekends, but the department is only prepared to help during the initial rush of business.
In-N-Out is located between Target and the Holiday Inn Express, but queuing for the drive-thru will take place at Volcanoes Stadium.
“Without that plan we could not see how it wouldn’t impact all the other businesses in Keizer Station,” Brown said.
Visitors to the restaurant will be encouraged to use the Keizer Station Boulevard Northeast entrance to Keizer Station and enter the stadium parking lot from the south. From there, cars will snake through the parking lot, exit to the east and then be ushered to the on-premises queue using Keizer Station Boulevard. Burger-lovers are on their own when it comes to finding their way out of Keizer Station.
Councilor Marlene Parsons asked that signs make it clear burger-craving travelers bypass the Stadium Drive Northeast entrance to Keizer Station in favor of the “main entrance” at Keizer Station Boulevard.
“This is a great thing that is happening, but we want to make sure it is organized for the residents,” Parsons said.