Printed on: November 27, 2012

SHOPTALK

New Volkswagen dealership revving up in I.F.

Clark Corbin
Post Register

After four months without a local franchise, a new Volkswagen dealership is coming to Idaho Falls.

Teton Toyota owner and general manager Mario Hernandez said his company has received a franchise and plans to open Teton Volkswagen as early as Dec. 7.

Hernandez plans to sell new and used Volkswagens, as well as provide service and warranty work for the popular line of German cars.

"Volkswagen is a great line of vehicles and, in fact, in the U.S. they are up 45 percent (in sales) year-to-date," Hernandez said. "A lot of that (sales increase) comes through their clean diesel technology, all-wheel drive vehicles and the U.S. manufacturing plants they have now."

Hernandez plans to open Teton Volkswagen in a temporary location on Sunnyside Road, just off Interstate Highway 15, Exit 116, near the Sleep Inn.

The dealership and factory-authorized service center would be a boon to local VW owners, who have had to drive to Utah or Twin Falls for warranty work since Wackerli Volkswagen's franchise agreement ended in August.

In March, Hernandez hopes to break ground on a 15,000-square-foot dealership situated on 3.3 acres of land just west of the existing Teton Toyota dealership.

The new dealership would feature the latest equipment and a computer-driven diagnostics system. Hernandez already has hired two certified Volkswagen technicians and is hiring new sales associates.

"It represents a big financial commitment and investment on our part, but that's how strongly we feel about the Volkswagen brand," Hernandez said.

Based on his dealership's history, Hernandez isn't shy about making big investments.

Teton Toyota opened in 2005, but Hernandez doubled down during the height of the economic recession by opening the Sunnyside Road location in January 2009.

In order to secure the Volkswagen dealership rights, Hernandez said his company participated in a two-month competitive vetting process with four other dealerships competing for the franchise.

Hernandez joked that his dog, Buddy, the mascot for his dealerships, is most excited about bringing Volkswagen into the fold.

"Buddy's pretty excited about Volkswagen," Hernandez said. "He's pretty fired up to have a new line of cars."

Information about the new Volkswagen franchise is available by calling Teton Toyota at 522-2911.

Orphanage support group relocating

Officials at Orphanage Support Services Organization are relocating to a new office in Rexburg.

The organization, formed in 1999, sends volunteers to work with children in orphanages in Quito and Cuenca, Ecuador.

During its history, the OSSO has sent thousands of eastern Idahoans to volunteer at orphanages. Recently, the group reached a milestone of 1 million face-to-face services hours, according to a news release.

The new office is located at 56 E. Main St.

Grand openings featuring information about orphans and service opportunities are scheduled from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Dec. 7 at the office. An additional grand opening will run from noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 8.

For information, call 359-1767.

New spa plans opening Dec. 6

On Dec. 6 the staff will hold a grand opening celebration for a new spa, Your Skin Within.

Located within Park West Dental Care at 885 Pancheri Drive, Your Skin Within will offer a natural, holistic approach to skin care through master esthetician Latavia Norris, according to a news release from the business.

The grand opening is scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Pancheri Drive office and will feature product samples, sandwiches and coupons for a free brow waxing service for the first 25 attendees.

Call 524-0870 for details.

Ad group seeks contest entries

The Idaho Falls Advertising Federation is seeking entries for its 2012 Eastern Idaho Gem Advertising Awards contest.

The annual contest is open to any company that produced advertising work in eastern Idaho published this year.

The early-bird entry deadline is Dec. 21, and submission fees start at $20 per entry for members of the advertising group.

Winners will be honored during ceremonies at the Idaho Falls Elk Lodge in February. For information, visit www.ifadfed.word press.com or call contest chairman Steve Fischbach at 524-1777.

Chamber luncheon planned for today

Today's Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce business luncheon will be devoted to Baby Boomers.

Resources development coordinator Jeanie Brady will present the program "The Impact of Baby Boomers and the History of the Good Samaritan Society."

The Good Samaritan Society is a nationwide organization dedicated to seniors that focuses on senior living apartments, hospice care, home health, assisted living and therapy.

The organization's local facility is located at 840 E. Elva St.

The chamber luncheon runs from noon to 1 p.m. at Hotel on the Falls, 475 River Parkway. Cost is $11 for lunch. Call 523-1010.

Building activity continues in I.F.

Although winter is approaching, builders continued to show optimism this month by pursuing new construction projects.

City officials approved three new residential building permits between Nov. 15 and Wednesday.

On Nov. 15, officials issued a permit for a 2,215-square-foot home to be built at 5332 Villa Mirage Court. The permit listed a valuation of $144,660.30.

On Wednesday, officials approved a permit for a 1,803-square-foot home at 3905 Nottingham Lane that listed a valuation of $96,172. That same day, a permit for a 1,602-square-foot home at 1506 Chesney Court was approved. That last project listed a valuation of $100,496.10.