CHESTERFIELD, N.H. -- As it celebrates its move to a larger facility across the state line from Brattleboro, Vt., Pete's Tire Barn is reaching out to customers both old and new with an open house scheduled for next month.
Ray Turilli, the director of IT and online marketing for Pete's Tire Barn, said the company is planning a special invitation only event beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 8.
On Saturday, Aug. 9, there will be a public open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with guided tours, food, face-painting and a photo booth to kick off a new life along Route 9.
Turilli said the open house will also feature a popular Firestone Racing simulator and a Michelin Man mascot for attendees to enjoy. There will also be a canned food drive to benefit Joan's Food Pantry and anyone who contributes will be entered into a drawing to win prizes that include a set of Michelin tires and four Red Sox tickets.
The open house is free to the public.
"We're exited to move into the new store," Turilli told the Reformer on Monday. "We've been serving our customers in Brattleboro for a long time, but we really have hit capacity. We're excited to have a lot more service space and tire storage and a really nice waiting room.
The company has been a presence in Brattleboro since 2003 and has operated out of a facility at 220 Old Ferry Road since 2006, but is repositioning itself on the other side of the Connecticut River. The Brattleboro location will close once the Route 9 facility opens.
Turilli said ground was broken on the Route 9 project in late 2011.
Peter Gerry, the president of Pete's Tire Barn, told the Reformer in October 2013 he was hoping to finish construction by the spring, after the project was put on the back-burner during the year due to several acquisitions of the company throughout New England.
Turilli said the new 10,000-square-foot building is entirely on land Pete's Tire Barn owns, after swapping pieces of property with the state, which needed a certain amount of land for the state liquor outlet that now stands near the tire business. The state is one of 18 in which the government directly controls the distribution and regulation of alcohol. Prior to the swap, Pete's Tire Barn owned 4.92 acres of land on Route 9.
Gerry told the Reformer his company typically holds some sort of public event whenever a Pete's Tire Barn location opens its door or does major renovation. He said the new shop will provide a better experience for customers and an improved working environment for employees.
He said he is happy to be opening in Chesterfield, despite a tiff he had with the state. He said the state took 1,800 yards of loam from the piece of land -- appraised at more than $200,000 -- his company swapped with New Hampshire and was not compensated for it. Gerry told the Reformer he knew the state would need the loam and therefore held onto it instead of selling it or have it trucked away. But he maintains he was not paid any of the $18,000 he estimates the loam was worth.
A call to the New Hampshire Liquor Commission was not returned on Wednesday.
Despite the trouble with the state, Turilli said the town has been very cooperative throughout the lengthy process and the paperwork it came with.
"They've been good to work with," he said. "It's a good relationship and things have gone very well there."
Turilli said Pete's Tire Barn, headquartered in Orange, Mass., is on the last leg of required permitting and is just waiting for an electrician to finish the fire alarm system so the fire marshal can be brought in for a sprinkler inspection. He said there are 20 Pete's Tire Barn locations across New England and that figure will remain the same, as the Brattleboro facility is simply moving to Chesterfield.
Domenic Poli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.