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Owen Brown McDonald's is to open by September

The Roy Rogers restaurant in Columbia's Owen Brown village that closed last month will re-open as a McDonald's by September, a spokeswoman for McDonald's Corp. said yesterday.

The Owen Brown Roy Rogers -- the third closed in Columbia since McDonald's bought some 180 stores in the fast-food chain last summer -- is the only one to be converted to a McDonald's so far, said Karen Witbeck of McDonald's.

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Meanwhile, another former Roy's location -- on Lynx Lane in Wilde Lake village -- was sold to Kentucky Fried Chicken early this month and is scheduled to reopen as a fried chicken outlet in September, said Jean Litterst Vezeau of KFC.

Witbeck said the Roy Rogers restaurants in Wilde Lake and Oakland Mills were closed because of slow sales, and McDonald's put both up for sale. The Oakland Mills location has not been sold and there are no potential buyers at this point, she said.

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Two other Columbia Roy Rogers locations -- in Dorsey's Search village and The Mall in Columbia -- remain open, but it is unclear what will happen to them, she said. The site in Dorsey is being evaluated for profitability, and the Roy's in The Mall in Columbia is under a lease due to expire at the end of this year, she said.

In Owen Brown, construction to convert the Roy's to a McDonald's started June 25. The store closed a few days before that, she said.

"We are not tearing down the site," Witbeck said. "But obviously a lot of work has to be done before it looks like a McDonald's."

Firm ordered to stop selling vacation contracts

An East Columbia travel firm has been ordered to stop selling vacation club memberships because the contract members are required to sign violates state law, Howard County's Office of Consumer Affairs announced yesterday.

County officials said that Interlink Travel Network Inc., at 5457 Twin Knolls Road in Columbia's Oakland Mills Village, does not include language in the multiyear vacation club membership contracts that allows a customer to cancel within 10 days.

"The cancellation right is the most powerful right a consumer has," said Stephen D. Hannan, the office's administrator, in a prepared statement.

Margaret Porterfield, Interlink's customer services manager, said she corrected the language in the contracts last Friday when she found out about the error. She said she is meeting with county consumer affairs officials today and hopes to get the matter resolved.

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"I'm going to make sure they know our intention is total compliance," Porterfield said.

She said that the Howard County consumer office questioned her about three clients. She said she rectified one situation when she realized that a customer had not received a refund because of a computer error; another client has not filled out proper paperwork and the third customer's refund is not due until Wednesday.

Porterfield estimated that the Waldorf-based company has between 500 and 700 vacation club members at the Columbia office. Members pay a $99 annual membership fee and then purchase certificates for vacation time that can be redeemed over a period of years. In this area, much of the business is for condominiums at the beach.

Pub Date: 7/22/97


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