Hazen Market, a well-known stop east of Reno, Nwevada, has closed after some 70 years in business. A report in the Lahontan Valley News says the recent widening of US 50A made it difficult for travelers to stop, leading to a decline in business. The store was originally along the old Lincoln Highway but was relocated in 1944 when the railroad and highway were moved to bypass south of the little town. Producer Rick Sebak stopped last year on his first trip for the upcoming PBS special and, like so many, enjoyed his visit.
The market had been spruced up since then (as seen in Rick’s sunset photo above versus one from the article below). It still maintained its classic appearance, but that was not enough according to the article, excerpts of which follow.
Owner Allen Hughes blames the Nevada Department of Transportation for the store’s demise…. “The State of Nevada blocked me off,” he said, adding he was promised three turning lanes, which never materialized.
People traveling from Fernley would have to drive 300 feet past the market and make a U-turn to enter his business and make another U-turn when exiting the store because there is no turn lane when traveling eastbound….
Hughes said he is not sure of what he will do with the building, but has thoughts of turning it into a delicatessen/bar to make it more of a destination business than a convenience. He said people who would not stop for a soft drink might do so for a sandwich.
Hughes said the store is for lease, and is willing to work with interested people who would like to open some type of business there.
Hazen residents said they are being affected by the closing of the market, which is located halfway between Fallon and Fernley.