By Jessica Isaacs
In the market for a new car? Want to connect with a local business? Stop by the grand opening celebration at Modern Toyota and Subaru of Boone from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday for food, fun and a look at the brand new, state-of-the-art facility.
The Boone dealership is one of 11 owned and operated by Modern Automotive and the Fowler family of Winston-Salem. The company recently invested in an impressive new building for its local Toyota and Subaru franchises, and is now inviting the public to celebrate the expansion.
Just a few weeks ago, the local Modern team moved just up the road from the old building into its new home, a 56,000 square foot energy efficient facility that features clean lines, natural light, a cozy environment for customers, a spacious showroom, top-of-the-line amenities and ample room for each franchise to grow.
The new dealership sits at 225 Modern Drive just above U.S. Highway 421 in Boone. Employees greet customers and visitors in the parking lot and direct them to either the sales floor or the appropriate service department.
The showroom walls display beautiful, large-scale photography of the natural wonders that surround the community. A welcoming lounge designed with customers in mind offers plenty of comfortable seating, a fireplace and free Wi-Fi is stocked with fresh bagels and coffee every morning.
Guy Wade, who recently moved from Greeneville, North Carolina to serve as Modern’s new general manager, said the innovative facility offers a fresh, new environment for the dealership to expand and better serve local shoppers.
“Twenty years ago, business was all about what’s in it for you, but it’s all about the customer today,” Wade said. “If you take care of the customer, everything else will come.”
The company hired 15 new local employees with the move, and plans to continue expanding the team in the future.
“In total, we have about 85 employees right now,” Wade said. “We’ll probably grow that to 100, eventually.”
Modern boasts spacious Toyota and Subaru service departments, which Wade said will play integral roles in the dealership’s expansion in the future.
“We are really working to grow in the service market,” Wade said. “Before, we could only take 20 appointments a day because we didn’t have enough space. Now, we have all the room in the world.”
Wade said he moved his family of five to the mountains because he believes in Boone, and the Fowlers invested in this new building because they believe in it, too.
“It’s lower temperatures and the beauty of the area. It’s just a simpler life and a slower pace,” Wade said. “The mountains are home to honest, hardworking, good people. You also get the influx of visitors in the summer and skiers in the winter — there’s always something going on up here, and other towns don’t have that.”
Wade and his team hope to see you at Tuesday’s grand opening event, which will begin with ribbon cuttings for Toyota at 5:30 p.m. and Subaru at 5:45 p.m.
Manufacturing representatives, regional Toyota and Subaru executives, local shoppers and community leaders will join for the festivities until 7 p.m., which will include face painting, T-shirts and bandanas, food from Woodlands Barbecue, a special appearance by ASU mascot Yosef and live music from The Honey Chasers.
“We want to show off the place and introduce Boone to the new facility,” Wade said. “We want them to know that we’re in it for the long haul.”