Biz Buzz, May 1, 2011

Concrete walls are being erected, and the new American Furniture Warehouse is taking shape for all who drive by on U.S. Highway 6&50 to see.

Or, as Greg Motz puts it, “We’re starting to affect the skyline.”

Motz, president of Sun King, the Grand Junction-based design-builder of the project, said what’s visible now is the area that will house the 102,000-square-foot showroom. The walls of the 60,000-square-foot warehouse should start going up this week, and within 30 days all of the walls should be up, he said. Motz added the project is on schedule for the store’s “late September, October-ish” opening.

The project includes a street that will connect to U.S. 6&50, and some of the sidewalk and curb work has begun. The real work on that street, though, will start after Abbey Carpet & Floor, 2571 U.S. 6&50, vacates its home alongside the highway for the new store American Furniture Warehouse built for it a few hundred yards to the south.

“We need to demolish the current Abbey building before we can proceed,” Motz said. “That cross connection is going to improve a lot of access in that area and take some of the pressure off the Rimrock Drive intersection.”

The wrecking ball could be swinging by mid-month for Abbey Carpet & Floor, as owner Jeff Jacobson said the moving process will start this week. He’s targeting a May 9 opening in the new building.

Abbey’s current home is only 10 years old, but when American Furniture Warehouse bought the property on which Abbey has a long-term lease, it offered to build Abbey a new store, and that was fine with Jacobson. Abbey Carpet & Floor stands to benefit from dramatically improved access for its customers, and Jacobson said the positioning next to a furniture store is an added bonus.

“There’s a high degree of synergy between a flooring store and a furniture store,” he said.

The new store has three distinct sections. The showroom and design center remains about the same size as the previous one. The warehouse is about 1,000 square feet smaller, but a second level is new and offers more storage. The third section is for granite fabrication, which Abbey previously did in space it leased off-site.

Today is moving day, and Monday is opening day as Adventure Sports exits its 2863 North Ave. home to take up residence at 2575 U.S. 6&50, next to Gold’s Gym. With the move comes a name change to Joe’s Scuba Shack.

Store Manager Joe Adams, whose wife, Donna Sloan-Adams, owns the business, said one reason for the move is to go from renting space to owning it. In addition, the property will have a half-acre on which a pool can be constructed in two to three years for diving training. The business now uses Mesa State College’s pool for training.

Joe said the store’s inventory will remain the same, with some new swim and beach wear, scuba and snorkeling gear and inflatable, towable tubes to go with river tubes and canoe and kayak rentals.

Good Pastures Restaurant closed for a day in December, then reopened with only a breakfast buffet for its guests at Quality Inn, 733 Horizon Drive, where the restaurant resides.

As of Monday, it will add a dinner buffet to what is now called Good Pastures Buffet, serving each day from 6 to 9 p.m. Pricing will be $13.95 for adults, $11.95 for seniors and $8 for children 12 and under, and it includes a beverage and dessert.

Quality Inn General Manger Rick Martindale said the breakfast buffet has been well-received, and he believes the dinner buffet will align with the desires of hotel guests, many of whom are in a hurry and don’t want to wait for a waiter to come to take their order, then wait for the food to arrive.

Martindale said the dinner buffet is being launched now to coincide with the traditional pickup in business that spring brings.


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