Friday, October 3, 2014

Smith Honda, Chevrolet open on Sunnyside Road

Stafford Smith inside the new Smith Honda dealership on Pioneer Drive, off Sunnyside Road.
With a lot of kinks still to be ironed out, Smith Chevrolet and Smith Honda are looking at an Oct. 15 soft opening for their new dealerships off Sunnyside Road.

The Honda operation moved from Holmes Avenue to its new facility in late September while the Chevrolet dealership began selling cars and trucks there on Tuesday. The Chevrolet service department is due to open today.

For Stafford Smith and his staff, this represents the culmination of more than a year's worth of work. A few administrative people are still working at the buildings on Holmes, but for all intents and purposes both dealerships are now on 17 acres south of Sunnyside, each in buildings just shy of 30,000 square feet. Smith said he plans to have a grand opening in spring 2015, but is happy to show the place to guests now.

Smith Chevrolet started in 1917, when David Smith set up his dealership with two cars in the lobby of the Hotel Idaho on C Street (now Constitution Way). The dealership was downtown until 1963, when they moved to North Holmes Avenue, which was farmland at the time. They added Honda in 1970, starting with the tiny 600 series cars. The new dealership has been certified with Honda's Environmental Leadership Platinum Award, one of a handful in the United States.

Right now, access to the dealership on Pioneer Drive is closer to the Interstate 15 Exit 116 than Smith or the Idaho Department of Transportation are comfortable with. The address for both dealerships is listed as 3477 S. Pioneer Road, but as it stands now Pioneer Road empties onto Sunnyside just east of Teton Volkswagen and goes nowhere to the south.