Gene Hisel has taken Cheers, cleaned it up and re-opened the package store in Selma. -- Chris Wasson

Cheers! for the cleanup

Published 10:33pm Saturday, February 5, 2011

When he got the chance to take over a once successful store, Gene Hisel took it.

“I didn’t have an idea of it really,” said Hisel. “The chance came to me and I made a quick decision.”

Afterward, Hisel began working hard to clean up what was once a thriving Cheers Package Store, but had grown dirty and run down and even a little bit dangerous.

“People didn’t really want to go in,” said Hisel. “It needed a major clean-up and repair so that was the first thing we worried about doing. The exterior was in bad shape, so we painted over the palm trees and changed it to the match closer to the bricks.”

A carwash business was also being run on the outside of the store that had to be removed.

“It’s just not very professional to have something like that,” said Hisel. ”People don’t want to come into a store when that is on the outside. We asked them to relocate and really started the clean-up.”

On the inside, additions were made to accommodate a larger selection of products.

“There just wasn’t enough room to accommodate what we wanted to do here,” he said. “So we added on to it so we had more to work with.”

Since its reopening, business has been much better.

“We are getting it back to what it once was,” said Hisel.

“People feel like they can come here again and the feedback has been really positive. So we are pretty happy.”

  • blueeyes

    Gene…If Mr Hisel would not have opened that package store, some non tax-paying pakistani would have….just say’n..and I am not a fan of drinking but I do believe that like a smoker buys their cigarettes, you should be able to buy your alcohol….it is your right….. and if anyone can tell me who Mr DD is, I’m sure Raceway Corporation would like to know considering he is making comments about their gas on a public forum. Sometimes people let their mouth override their butt.

  • gene

    when you are running the business you can charge what ever you want to charge. its up to the customers to go somewhere cheaper. but how is another package store what we needed haha. vodka should be at least as bad as a slot machine or card table.

  • funnyman

    Mr.DD, the best thing you can do is shut your mouth about something you have no idea about! Have you had your check cashed at raceway before? Why don’t these poor people go to the bank and cash their checks? You know the ones on the 1st & 3rd, do you get those too? Dumb A#@ people just make me laugh sometimes and other times make me sick. In your case it’s the sick.

  • blueeyes

    Maggie I certainly agree with everything you have written. Mr. DD, you must cash your checks at the Curb Market…you oughtta stop listening to that bull on 105.3…overpriced beverages and watered down gas? You only wish you were smart enough to own a business….

  • Mr.DD

    Gene Hisel might be a wise businessman by over charging poor people to cash their income tax checks and selling them over priced beverages and watered down gas.At least Perkins and Evans didn’t lie about their legal address. If Gene Hisel wanted to be a mayor he should have run against Tom Lee and became mayor in Valley Grande where he legally resides.He should do more than just rent an appartment six months before the election.The city of Selma needs more than a businessman who would tell a lie to further his political ambitions.

    • Maggie Davies

      Mr. DD,
      It amazes me how people who refuse to use their real name will spew such outlandish BS about someone. I use my real name because I refuse to hide behind a pseudonym.

      Mr. Hisel did not “lie” about where he lived. Please stop listening so much to Hate105, soon you will start believing that martial law was named after some General Marshall, that the word ‘picnic” originated from hanging slaves…oh and my all time favorite (from the mouth of Johnnie Leashore on his show) that voodoo ceremonies are practiced in Live Oak cemetery during the tours for pilgrimage (I am the director of those tours and the closet thing I have ever come to voodoo was visiting the grave of Marie Laveau in NOLA when I paid for a city tour). Mr. Hisel did not rent an apartment here in Selma. He owns several places, but I can not say for certainty if he rented his house here or owned it outright. I do know it made more sense for him to stay in Selma with all the hours he puts in.

      Watered-down gas? Oh please. Did you know that the raceway pumps have a cut off valve if water is detected in the tanks? Always have been and the fact that corporate controls this is probably not the truth you want to be spread about.

      I buy cigerettes and drinks at Raceway and although I can get my cigerettes cheaper at national superstore here in town (that has been sued several times for not promoting blacks or women) a bit cheaper, I rather enoy the service at raceway. The sodas are the same price IF NOT cheaper than at Chevron, Shell or Idle Inn.

      I do not use the check cashing and I fail to understand why people just don’t use banks. I have never heard of ANYONE being forced to use his services since WalMart is within walking distance. His rates I was told are comparable to most other places other than WalMart. I guess in your world he should just give away his services, but that is not how the FREE MARKET works.

      I guess facts are easily twisted or confused when you listen to such garbage that is spewed on the airwaves here. It is also easy to distort the facts when hiding behind a screen name.

      • POPDUKES12

        Naggie: Some people aren’t allowed to have checking accounts until they pay for their overdrafts from the last time they had a checking account. This can be as much as several hundred dollars. This sometimes happens when people add the amount of the check to their balance rather than subtracting it. just saying. pops

    • Selma On My Mind

      Look you idiot. . . .GO SOMEWHERE ELSE TO CASH YOUR CHECK. . . GET A BANK ACCOUNT LIKE MOST SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE DO. . . go somewhere else to fill up if it is watered down. . . . Perkins lied about everything else that is why HE IS NOT IN OFFICE. . . .HA HA . . .. go cash your government check!

  • Maggie Davies

    Gene Hisel is a wise businessman. Some people think he has the Midas touch, but the truth is he works hard to ensure his businesses are a moneymakers. Every time he opens another venture and it turns into a success, I think about how HATE105 radio and certain leaders in this community put him down when he ran for mayor. It amazes me how many in Selma complain they want to see more of “green” flow through this city, but only can see things as black and white.

    Perkins was and is not a successful businessman. He was sued when he failed to pay his company bills.
    Evans was an educator and a basketball ref. With these qualifications, no bank would give him a small business loan.

    YET, a proven businessman who has time and time again proven he knows how to bring about prosperity, Selma refused to even consider him as mayor.

    Perkins got us in this rut and Evans is keeping us there. I hope next year some PROVEN businessman will run, but please Lord make him black so he has a chance of winning!


    Making lemonade from lemons is the entrepneurial spirit that made Americal great. While many set around waiting on Mr. Vardamen to bring a business into town so they can get a minimum wage job, there are others (like Gene) that aren’t waiting. There is an old saying, “if it is to be, it is up to me” that gives many (like Gene) the spirit to be self relient and make a difference in the community and their own lives. Given the number of empty store fronts in the city of Selma, there shouldn’t be much trouble getting low rent to try your hand and make something good happen for your family. So, the next time you see someone driving a nice car or “sporting” down the river in a nice boat and you ask yourself, “why couldn’t that be me?” you only have yourself to blame. Gene is living proof. popdukes12

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