Wahlburgers Favorites Outlet opens on Mascalero Apache Reservation
By Levi Rickert
Last Thursday was a day of firsts when Wahlburgers Favorites opened at the Inn of the Mountain Gods Casino Resort owned and operated by the Mescalero Apache Tribe in New Mexico.
The restaurant became the first Wahlburger restaurant to open in the state of New Mexico and the first to open under a sub-franchise agreement between the restaurant chain and NativeWahl, a subsidiary of Little River Holdings, the Little River Tribe Economic Development Corporation. , based in Manistee, Michigan. NativeWahl is led by Eugene Magnuson.
Wahlburgers is a casual burger restaurant founded by brothers Mark, Donnie and chef Paul Wahlberg.
Frizzell Frizell, Jr., the resort’s chief operating officer, leads the effort for the Inn of the Mountain Gods Casino Resort.
Frizzell says the resort explored ways to reuse its buffet that was closed during the COVID-19 pandemic two years ago. When the resort reopened, Frizzell and his team decided to convert the space into a food court for casino and resort patrons. The cost of converting the enclosed buffet space into a food court was $5.5 million.
The repurposed space made room for Wahlburgers Favorites, a Sbarro pizza, cafe and other eateries.
NativeWahl and the Inn of the Mountain Gods Casino Resort signed a sub-franchise agreement in March 2022. The resort sent staff to Wahlburgers training to learn how to properly prepare all of the chain’s products.
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