VIP Tires & Service has opened a new store in West Lebanon, New Hampshire. It is the company’s 57th store in Northern New England. VIP now has 19 locations in New Hampshire, three in Massachusetts and 35 in Maine.
“The Upper Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont is a strong and growing market, and one that we’ve wanted to have a presence in for a long time,” said Tim Winkeler, president and chief operating officer, VIP Tires & Service. “VIP is already a well-recognized brand in New Hampshire and our new location, just off Main Street in West Lebanon is perfectly situated to service all of the communities of the Upper Valley.
“With our 93 years in business and our dedication to service excellence, it’s our goal to become the local community’s trusted hometown provider for everything automotive,” added Winkeler.
The new VIP store is located at the former City Tire facility. VIP has signed an initial 10-year lease with renewal options and has spent the past several months hiring seven local highly qualified technicians and store managers. The company also has extensively renovated the facility to bring it up to its rigorous standards. When the new store opens, VIP will have invested more than $500,000 in the new location.
VIP’s new West Lebanon store boasts 3,200 square feet and six full bays, as well as on-site storage for more than 1,500 tires, which will allow the company to provide its customers prompt and unbeatable customer service.
Additional renovation highlights include:
- Raising the showroom ceiling from seven to 12 feet and adding large windows between the showroom and bays so that customers can watch their vehicles while they are being worked on
- Installing all new lifts in the shop, as well as state-of-the-art alignment and tire equipment
- Creating a 30-foot tire display wall so that customers can make selections more easily
- Installing an ADA-compliant entrance ramp for greater customer accessibility
- Updating existing customer restrooms and building a new employee restroom
- Installing all new heating systems
- Refurbishing the exterior with all an all-glass front, new paint and signage
Like all other VIP Tire & Service locations, this new facility is a full-service automotive repair, maintenance and tire shop offering everything from brake repair, preventative maintenance, muffler and exhaust repair, multi-point vehicle inspections, wheel alignments, state inspections and oil changes, the company says. The company employs Certified Master Technicians at all of its locations. Collectively, VIP’s service technicians have 950 ASE certifications; 41 have earned Master Mechanic status and three have achieved World Class Technician status.
Grand Opening Celebration – Launch of Oil Changes for Education
The new VIP store opened on Aug. 18 and an official ribbon-cutting ceremony occurred on Thursday, Aug. 23. Assistant Mayor Timothy McNamara was on-hand to welcome VIP to West Lebanon. VIP also hosted a grand opening celebration for the community this past weekend.
According to West Lebanon Store Manager Jeremy Weigel, “In addition to food and festivities during the grand opening weekend, VIP is launching an initiative – called ‘Oil Changes for Education’ to support thousands of children in the Lebanon and Hartford School Districts. From August until the end of October, we are offering $10 oil changes to all customers at our new store with 100 percent of the proceeds donated directly to the [schools in the area.]”
Those schools include:
- Lebanon School District
- Hanover Street Elementary School
- Mt. Lebanon Elementary School
- Lebanon Middle School
- Lebanon High School
- The Hartford School District.
- White River School
- Hartford Memorial Middle School
- Hartford High School
“When we enter a new market, we want to become active in the local community – it’s part of our company culture,” said Winkeler. “While we were working on the new store, an article crossed my desk that detailed the enormous financial needs of the local schools. My team reached out to the superintendents of both the Lebanon and Hartford School Districts and asked how we could get involved. Together, we came up with idea of ‘Oil Changes for Education.’ Our goal is to raise funds to support student curriculum and activity needs at the seven schools. It’s a win-win for everyone because no one does $10 oil changes anymore, and 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit so many children in the local community.”