Home at last: Teton VW unveils new digs

It took a bit longer than planned, but Teton Volkswagen finally has a home it can call its own.

And no one is happier to end the dealership’s nomadic existence than owner Mario Hernandez, who also owns Teton Toyota.

Since acquiring the VW dealership in December 2012, Hernandez had operated the business out of an old Mexican restaurant, as well as a used car lot. The business also conducted “parking lot” sales at various locations in Idaho Falls. Without a service department, Volkswagen owners took their vehicles to Teton Toyota for routine maintenance or specialized service.

“It’s been a little bit of a challenge, working out of temporary (facilities),” Hernandez told Shoptalk. “It took about four months longer (to open) than we planned, (but) it takes time to complete a project like this.”

The Volkswagen dealership opened its new building June 13. Last week, various dignitaries and chamber leaders gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the 15,000-square foot structure located at 2220 W. Sunnyside Road, near Interstate 15 and next door to Teton Toyota.

When the building permit for the project was pulled in December 2013, the Teton Volkswagen/Greenhead Ventures LLC project listed a valuation of $1.8 million.

“We may not be the largest (Volkswagen dealership), but ours is the nicest. This is a very beautiful building,” Hernandez said.

The facility also is functional.

“We have six service bays and over 45 years of Volkswagen and Audi technician experience,” General Manager Jonah Namson said.

The new facility also features an environmentally friendly express lube and oil change bay. The self-contained unit catches spills, keeping oil and other lubricants from inadvertently leaking into the ground.

“Volkswagen didn’t require this, it was something we did on our own,” Namson said. “It looks like something out of NASA, doesn’t it?”

Namson and the dealership’s 25 employees are happy to have a permanent home.

“We’ve been everywhere (and) we’ve had some challenges. This (the new facility) should really help us. It will allow us to better service our customers,” Namson said.

With plenty of showroom, office and customer waiting space, there also is ample room surrounding the building for the dealership’s new- and used-car inventory.

Improving customer service also is a top priority for Hernandez.

“We’re trying hard with that,” Hernandez said. “Volkswagen has some pretty high standards. All of our technicians are Volkswagen certified. We love being involved with Volkswagen; I think it has made us a better dealership.”

ISU Foundation opens telepharmacy in Arco

Bengal Pharmacy, LLC, owned by the Idaho State University Foundation, opened in Arco on Friday as the state’s first, full-service “telepharmacy.”

According to a news release, the pharmacy, in partnership with the Lost Rivers Medical Center, uses “innovative technology to provide critical health care access, while also providing hands-on experience for ISU’s pharmacy students.”

The pharmacy will be under constant video supervision by a licensed pharmacist, located in the Bengal Pharmacy on ISU’s Pocatello campus, the release said. Patients will receive private consultations with the pharmacist using video technology. The Arco telepharmacy will be staffed with a pharmacy technician.

Since 2006, nearly 300 rural communities, including four in Idaho, have lost their only pharmacies, the release said. Arco’s next closest pharmacy is in Blackfoot, nearly 60 miles away.

The Bengal Pharmacy at Lost Rivers operates from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Lost Rivers Medical Center is located at 551 Highland Drive. Call the Bengal Pharmacy at (208) 527-8201.

Antique tractor show at Valley Wide Cooperative

Valley Wide Cooperative in Menan is holding a special anniversary sale and antique tractor show Friday.

According to a company news release, the idea is to provide a local venue for antique tractor owners to showcase historic tractors.

As part of the festivities, those attending will vote for their favorite tractor and honorary judges also will award a “Best in Show” trophy. In addition, “Burgers for a Buck” will benefit the local FFA Chapter and special storewide sale prices will be offered. The event if free.

Since 1938, Valley Wide Cooperative has been helping farmers and ranchers build homes and businesses, the release said.

“Valley Wide Cooperative is involved in every community we are a part of, and we are helping to cultivate and strengthen the current and next generation of farmers.

For information, valleywidecoop.com or find the store on Facebook at tinyurl.com/valleywide-fb.

Grand re-opening for Habitat ReStore is Saturday

Habitat for Humanity Idaho Falls Area will celebrate the grand re-opening of its ReStore on Saturday.

The event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at 1954 N. Yellowstone Highway. Grand Re-Opening events include a silent auction, door prizes, live music, and food and drinks, according to a news release.

ReStore is a home improvement thrift store that accepts donations of new and used home building supplies and furniture, the release said, then offers the items for sale. The proceeds are used to “further Habitat for Humanity’s mission of providing simple, decent and affordable housing to local families.”

The Habitat ReStore is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. The newly renovated 10,000-square-foot building will enable Habitat to display more merchandise and serve its customers and donors more efficiently, the release said. Habitat’s offices are are located on the second floor of the same building.

“Volunteers and staff have been working for months renovating and organizing our new ReStore,” Habitat Executive Director Karen Lansing said in the release. “We are looking forward to being able to serve even more families with the increased revenues this new location will bring to Habitat.”

Building permits

Idaho Falls building officials recently approved permits for the following projects:

• Construction of a 1,430-square foot home at 1591 Clarence Drive, with a valuation of $69,389.10.

• Construction of a 2,320-square foot home at 5070 Gleneagles Drive, with a valuation of $114,248.40.

• Construction of a 1,618-square foot home at 604 Bradford Lane, with a valuation of $90,718.80.

• Construction of a 2,174-square foot home at 3855 Nottingham Lane, with a valuation of $108,988.80.

• Construction of a 1,570-square foot home at 707 Brigham Drive, with a valuation of $75,206.70.

• Construction of a 1,628-square foot home at 471 Rockingham St., with a valuation of $104,645.10.

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