THAYER -- For years rumors have drifted around the Mammoth Spring/Thayer state line that a Wal-Mart super center is going to be built in one of the communities.
For years nothing has become of the rumors. The rumors have surfaced again and still seem to be nothing but rumors.
Thayer Mayor Allen Deckard said he has had no word from Wal-Mart about a new store being built in Thayer.
Mammoth Spring Mayor Jean Pace said she has had no word from Wal-Mart about a store being built in Mammoth Spring.
Thayer Community Betterment Association President Bob Eckman said he has also heard the rumors. "We discussed this at a TCBA meeting a few weeks ago," Eckman said.
Local real estate agent Ron Cornelius, who owns Allen American Realty in Mammoth Spring, said he was at the TCBA meeting when the supercenter was discussed. Cornelius was instrumental in the sale of the property by Charles Masner where Flash Market and Mammoth Spring Lodge are located just off Highway 63 near the Arkansas/Missouri state line.
"I have been in touch with Mr. Masner and he says he has not sold any land to Wal-Mart," Cornelius said.
He said he thinks there was originally 53 acres available when Masner sold the land to build the Flash Market and Mammoth Spring Lodge. He speculated Masner still owns 47 acres near the two businesses.
Thayer Wal-Mart Manager Ron Bunzell said he has heard the rumors himself. "Our store was remodeled four years ago and they plan to do some more remodeling this year. I don't believe they would make this effort if they were planning to move the store," he said. Bunzell said the main Wal-Mart office in Bentonville, Ark., has not contacted him about any type of supercenter in the area.
"I would probably be just like everyone else. I would not know it until the groundbreaking ceremony," he said.
Bunzell said a community the size of the Thayer/Mammoth Spring area could support a supercenter. He said he had worked in New Mexico and there might be a supercenter every five miles.
Wal-Mart media affairs officer Kerry Thum said, "Wal-Mart Corporation has no plans to build a new new store in the Thayer/Mammoth Spring area at this time that I am aware of."
Oregon County Circuit Clerk and Recorder of Deeds Dorothy Barton said there is no record of any type of land sale in Oregon County to Wal-Mart.