News>Force support squadron opens new recreation super store
U.S. Air Force Brig Gen. Donald Bacon, 55th Wing commander Offutt Air Force participates in the official ribbon cutting of the outdoor Rec / Auto Hobby Shop Base, on Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., March 15. Bacon was taken on a tour of the facility afterwords while patrons were treated to hot dogs, chips and snacks. A bounce house, dunk tank and prizes were given out to celebrate the event.(Photo by Jeff Gates/Released)
Patrons were treated to hot dogs, chips and snacks to celebrate the grand opening of the Outdoor Rec/Auto Hobby facility on Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., March 15. U.S. Air Force Brig Gen. Donald Bacon, 55th Wing commander Offutt Air Force participated in the official ribbon cutting and was escorted throughout the building for a personal tour. A bounce house, dunk tank and prizes were given out to celebrate the event. (Photo by Jeff Gates/Released)
3/19/2012 - OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. -- With warmer temps and the thoughts of spring in the air, the time could not have been any better for the 55th Force Support Squadron to celebrate the opening of their new recreation super store with free food and giveaways March 15.
In order to better serve their customers, the 55th FSS moved outdoor recreation and equipment rental into the same facility as their auto hobby shop, creating a new one-stop recreation complex.
"The outdoor recreation and equipment rental location was not conveniently located and with an aging facility it was not conducive for an expanding inventory," said LeAnn Clausen, outdoor recreation director.
With this in mind, the 55th FSS leadership considered their options and with the extra space, convenient location and possibility of expanding their customer base, they decided to co-locate outdoor recreation and equipment rental with the auto hobby shop.
"This venture has allowed us to continue offering important programs to our customers, consolidate activity resources and create a new synergy," said Jack Sweet, 55th FSS community services flight chief. "Customers will be able to fix their car, rent a camper or boat, buy a fishing license, register for a trip or request a long term storage slot for their personal RV all in the same place."
"With the budget cuts we are facing, we are basically forced to only keep things open that make a profit so we have to think innovatively and smartly and by combining these facilities we are reducing costs, and that keeps these services viable for everyone" said Brig. Gen. Donald Bacon, 55th Wing commander. "I really want to thank the leadership here for their innovative spirit and for finding ways to do things better."
This new recreation super store also gives the staff more storage options and allows them to expand their inventory.
"The layout in the auto hobby building allows for better utilized storage space for inventory and also gives us more outside staging and storage areas for large campers and boats," Clausen said. "We also now have drive through capability for customers to pick-up party items such as tables, tents, canopies, and it is conveniently located for us to oversee one of our main operations of RV and auto lot storage."
Fans and users of the auto hobby shop need not worry as their services will continue as before.
"Auto hobby services are still maintained so customers can rent bays to service their car, change oil, rotate tires and more," Clausen said. "They also offer a minor maintenance program where our technician can accomplish the work for them."
For the opening of their new one-stop recreation complex, the 55th FSS team gave away a 42" LED TV, some free rentals and their first 50 customers received a $10 gift certificate.
"The new facility is really nice," said Master Sgt. Mark Florez, a flight engineer with the 1st Airborne Command and Control Squadron.
"The other engineers and I rent a camper every year for a trip, so we're really glad this is here," he said. "We went down to the Indian Caves south of here last year and had a great time."
Customers this year will be happy to know that the staff has added quite a few new items for rental including a new 26' camper and pontoon boat.
"Some of the household and chore items added this year include scaffolding, lawn sweeper, wheelchairs and a jack hammer," Clausen said. "For fun and adventure we have new river tubes, Hobie kayaks, a great new lawn game called Big Birdie Golf and four new bounce houses that will be coming in April."
The new recreation super store is open Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursdays and Fridays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. They are closed on Wednesdays and holidays.
"The co-location with auto hobby has great customer visibility and is more accessible to base housing residents," Clausen said. "Both operations are sure to grow as awareness of each activity's benefit from the dynamics created by working together and showcasing our services to a broader market."
For more information on outdoor recreation, visit their website and for a listing of equipment available and prices, click here.