Event marks opening of dealership

Guests check out the new digs at the Dolan grand opening.

Guests check out the new digs at the Dolan grand opening.

The Dolan Auto Group held a grand opening VIP party Oct. 22 for its new $27 million Lexus dealership in Reno.

The event, which attracted 700 people, showcased the nearly 70,000-square-foot dealership, which is about two-and-a-half times the size of the original store and has room for a lot more than making deals and signing paperwork.

The Lexus store has an expanded showroom and state-of-the-art repair shop, espresso bar and business center that will give customers things to do while waiting for a vehicle.

The crowning glory of the event, which attracted Jeff Bracken, the highest-ranking Lexus exec in the U.S., was the presentation of the Kabuto, a Samurai warrior’s helmet that exemplifies strength, perseverance and integrity.

“Thank you so much for investing in this brand,” Mr. Bracken said to the Dolan family, whose new store is visible from the freeway and also stands as testament to the area’s growing prominence as a luxury car market.

Most of the two-level dealership is square, with large windows everywhere. It dominates a prime 6.3- acre site.

Inside, a large waterfall-like sculpture gives the building the look of a contemporary arts center.

A former Audi dealership once did business at the site at 7175 S. Virginia St.

The amenities are clearly designed to drive traffic to the business.

“Lexus (corporate) said one thing: ‘Try to get as close to a Whole Foods Market,’” said founder Tom Dolan, in a previous interview with the NNBW. He said the prized grocery shopping demographic is a target the car company seeks to reach with sales, service and warranty work.

Tom also touted the economic benefit of going local with a general contractor, subs and vendors during the course of construction.

The new Lexus facility was an entirely local build and just one more way the Dolan Auto Group could give back to the community it has called home for more than 30 years, said Tom.

Dolan Auto Group hired local company Clark & Sullivan for the remodel of the building, employing nearly 100 people solely for the construction.

Dolan Auto Group as a whole employs more than 400 people in the area and the new Lexus store accounts for roughly 100 of those jobs. In addition to the Dolan contingent and guests, the event drew business partners, vendors and customers, giving credence to the company’s motto: “Join the family.”

Speaking of family, owner Tom Dolan’s siblings joined him on the stage during the dedication ceremony, which came with a Roman Catholic blessing. His brother, Msgr. Neal Dolan, sprinkled holy water on all and sundry.

“Lord, bless those who buy and sell here,” said Father Neal.

“He’s a funny guy,” said Tom, the youngest of eight children. “You should go to church and hear his sermons.”

Clearly, the life of the party was Tom, who was described by one of his sons as “the visionary who got us here.”

Despite a pulmonary disease that will soon require a double lung transplant, Tom’s attitude is positive and upbeat.

“A Lexus is the best car to drive and outdrives Tesla by a mile,” said Tom, ever the salesman, to the laughter of guests — make that family.


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