The new Transwest facility on West Main in Sterling, CO, is big, bold and beautiful. Finishing touches on the audacious 26,500-square-foot, state-of-the-art building located in Sterling aims to be complete July 1, making Transwest Chevrolet Buick a welcome addition to the new and improved city feel of West Main Street.
Transwest purchased the Korf property and Chevrolet dealership on West Main just over a year ago on June 13, 2016. General Manager Mike Schadegg said the past year — purchasing the property and retaining most of the former Korf staff, acquiring additional land from Bomgaars for storm water drain off, tearing down the old building and rebuilding a new facility — has been hectic. But Schadegg has been surprised by how quickly everything has come together.
"It's all growing pains, but it will be worth it once this place is done," he said.
The bold new facility replaces the original Holloway dealership constructed back in 1953 when Sterling's population hovered around 7,000. So, it seems fitting that along with doubling the population size from the 1950s, Sterling would now have a big car dealership to show off. The modern building features a spacious showroom, bright clean offices, a comfortable customer waiting area with a play space for children and a truly state-of-the-art service center.
The main contractor on the new construction was Kaw Development and Construction (KDC) out of Kansas City, KS. However, there were plenty of area sub-contractors involved as well. Big Johnson Construction worked on the building and Better Electric sub-contracted the electrical work along with several other local contractors rounding out the various construction projects.
The total cost of the building was not known at the time of the interview, but the new construction was in the millions, according to Schadegg.
While the big new dealership is great, Schadegg said he doesn't want the overwhelming size of the building and corporate signs to scare local customers and friends away, because inside are the same hometown people who have served Sterling auto buyers for decades.
"The atmosphere and environment is every bit as hometown feeling as it's ever been, but now we have a better facility to serve the customer and the community," added Steve Kerchal, Sales Manager.
Some of the big bucks were definitely spent on the large service area, where Transwest auto technicians have access to cutting-edge equipment, enabling them to service almost every make and model. While Transwest Sterling specializes in Chevrolet, GMC and Buick, they can also do work on other domestic brands and some imports as well. The spacious service area hosts 12 work bays with overhead reels for oil, air, water, grease and other supplies. The service space also houses a detail shop and a car wash so your vehicle will get the royal treatment once it enters the service area.
One feature sure to please Transwest clients is the handy service drive-in located on the southeast side of the building. The drive-in is unique to any auto place in Sterling, according to Kerchal. Customers will be able to drive into the service area through a roll-up overhead door. This drive-in feature will allow customers to avoid the blistering heat in summer and the cold and snow in winter. Once customers drop off their vehicle for service, they will be invited into the show room area where they can enjoy coffee and vending machine snacks. Kerchal said the dealership will also provide transportation for local residents "to shuttle people back and forth" while their vehicle is out of commission.
Kerchal said there's also a free service program for customers who purchase a new or used vehicle. The Transwest Advantage offers clients up to $4,449 in service offerings, from tire rotations, complimentary loaner vehicle, free for life: wash, multi-point inspection and washer fluid refills with every service visit. The Loyalty Advantage Benefit Program, a prominent portion of Transwest Advantage, offers clients up to $2,300 in valuable reimbursements such as service discount check-ups, vehicle lock-out, ambulance, towing and trip interruption, just to name a few.
"There's no other dealer in the area that's doing that kind of stuff. Transwest is all about the customer. We really want to go the extra mile and do what other dealers don't do," Schadegg added.
Since Transwest is the largest commercial fleet dealer for General Motors in the United States, they can provide the Sterling location with stock parts for semi-trucks as well as heavy-to-medium duty trucks.
"We don't do the work here, but you can call here and get any of your parts and we deliver in northeastern Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming," Schadegg said.
The new dealership has more to offer than servicing vehicles. The multi-million-dollar facility is built to bring in consumers looking to buy. Customers can enjoy a spacious show room to browse and a comfortable seating area to relax and think over their purchase. Both Schadegg and Kerchal said company owner George Eidness wants to make the car buying experience pleasant and convenient while offering the customer plenty of choices. Transwest will beef up its inventory to 200 new and used vehicles, giving the car buying community a large selection of cars, trucks and SUVs from which to choose.
Currently, the dealership on West Main employs 30 to 35 persons, but they expect to grow that base in the future. The majority of Transwest employees are from the local area, and the dealership has invested heavily in the community from day one. Transwest sponsors several local events, such as July Jamz, the Logan County Fair, the International Feedlot Cowboys Association Rodeo finals and the Flatlanders Annual Rod Run in the Park.
The new dealership will show off their new digs Friday, July 7, with a grand opening celebration complete with a barbecue and other events. Schadegg said guests to the Transwest Grand Opening event will be able to enjoy good food, view the new facility and get a close-up look at classic collectors from the Flatlanders car show. The Transwest grand opening coincides with the Flatlanders Annual Rod Run weekend held at Pioneer Park.
Thank you Journal-Advocate for reprint permission.