ALTAMONT — The recent reopening of a business in Altamont has once again changed the landscape of a commercial business area north of Interstate 70 at exit 82.

“I’m very excited to get this open,” Jack Flash founder John Wortman said.

Managers and associates at the new and improved Jack Flash facility continue to move in more store merchandise. The new facility features seven diesel and 12 gasoline pumps.

The 12 bays in front of the store have six gasoline pump islands with two of the pump islands offering both gas and diesel. Four diesel pump bays for semitractor-trailer trucks are located just north of the auto bays on the property between the new 9,000-square-foot multipurpose convenience store building and McDonald’s. Parking is available for up to 13 semitractor-trailer vehicles.

Wortman said the business is a combination truck stop, convenience store, liquor store, gift shop and gaming parlor. The new construction design allows for more gas pumps in front of the building placing them vertically in relationship to the building in rows rather than just a couple of pumps horizontally as they were in front of the former Stuckey’s building.

Managing the Altamont Jack Flash reopening are Co-Managers Stacy Chrisman and Krystal Jurgens, both of Vandalia.

“We make progress every day,” Chrisman said about stocking the store. “We’re not 100 percent finished, but we are working towards that.”

“We’ve been open for a week and I feel we are in a better spot than we were a week ago,” Chrisman said. “Customers seem to like this store and we seem to get a lot of compliments.”

“We’ve gotten a lot busier the past few days,” said Jackie Wortman, daughter of John Wortman. “Business has picked up quite a bit.”

Chrisman said the new Altamont store is a unique one in the Jack Flash family.

“I’ve worked for the company for 10 years and worked at several locations and this is by far one of the best, biggest and most beautiful stores they’ve built,” Chrisman said.

Currently, the Altamont Jack Flash is open 24 hours.

“We will be opening a Pizza Hut Express,” Chrisman said. “It will operate out of our new kitchen in the back.”

The Pizza Hut Express is expected to open on June 15. Jackie Wortman said when the Pizza Hut Express first opens they plan to offer personal pan pizzas along with breakfast sandwiches and breakfast pizza in the morning.

“When the Pizza Hut Express opens it will be for the most part grab and go,” Jackie Wortman said.

Chrisman said there is a gaming room in the new building that is closed due to COVID-19 pandemic statewide restrictions.

“The gaming room will open when gaming facilities in Illinois can open back up,” Chrisman said.

Chrisman said the liquor store is a full-line liquor store and not just a gas station offering.

“We could close it off and make it a separate store,” she said.

Sporty’s liquor store hours are 6 a.m.-midnight Monday through Thursday, Friday 6 a.m. to Saturday 1 a.m. and Saturday 6 a.m. to Sunday 1 a.m. and noon-midnight on Sunday.

The new Jack Flash adds to the changing landscape of Altamont over the past several years with new businesses and construction. Jack Flash joins Cobblestone Inn and Suites, Carriage House Convention Center and Joe’s Pizza and Pasta in addition to a new Subway and a remodeled McDonald’s.

In an EDN interview last year, John Wortman said the old Stuckey’s building and former home to Jack Flash was in bad shape and disrepair. The building was demolished to make way for the new building.

“It’s good for Altamont,” Wortman said in the interview. “When our store is finished, that exit will have a different look.”

Charles Mills can be reached at charles.mills@effinghamdailynews.com or by phone at 217-347-7151 ext. 126.

Charles Mills can be reached at charles.mills@effinghamdailynews.com or by phone at 217-347-7151 ext. 126.

Reporter/Videographer

Charles Mills is reporter and videographer for the Effingham Daily News. A 1983 graduate of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, he worked as senior video editor for a Nashville television station. He is a native of Vandalia.

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