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Lakewood Ford Celebrates 5 Years in Lakewood

LAKEWOOD, Wash. (August 7, 2012) — Lakewood Ford recently celebrated its 5-year anniversary since opening the doors of the new dealership along Pacific Highway SW in the City of Lakewood. Having been in business since 1977, general manager Henry Krebs, is marking the anniversary as a chance to say thank you to the community and to plan for further growth. The exact date of the Lakewood Ford grand opening was July 22, 2007.

Previously located in South Tacoma, the dealership relocated in search of a business-friendly and growing city. As the first new car dealership in Lakewood, reasons for choosing Lakewood included location and demographics. The dealership site is right along I-5 and serves both a military population as well as a growing community.

“Lakewood is a young and evolving city,” said Krebs. “We are excited to be at the leading edge of it.”

According to Krebs, the city and the community at-large have been supportive of the business. Lakewood Ford currently employs 90 people in sales, administration, service and parts roles, adding that the team sells the Ford brand line-up because of the automaker’s quality and innovation. 

“We are proud to have businesses like Lakewood Ford in our city,” notes Ellie Chambers-Grady, economic development manager for the City of Lakewood. “Henry and his team embody the entrepreneurial spirit that is the hallmark of our economic development landscape. We are all eager to see Lakewood Ford and other businesses succeed, and we are looking for ways to support them.”  

Lakewood Ford is one of over 3,400 licensed businesses in the city. New businesses are coming on line each month in a variety of industries. Chambers-Grady indicates that she has seen a pick-up in significant entrepreneurial energy, “It’s exciting to see many of our businesses doing well and expanding.”

Krebs also attributes the business’ success to giving back through charitable support every month. Lakewood Ford maintains numerous philanthropic commitments with Joint Base Lewis-McChord such as sponsoring veterans groups, softball teams and charitable golf tournaments. Lakewood Ford also does a lot of charitable giving off the base like sponsoring the Lakewood Rotary, local Little League teams and the Relay for Life, which raises money to the American Cancer Society.

About Lakewood, Washington

Lakewood is the second largest city in Pierce County and the eighteenth largest in Washington. It is strategically located between Sea-Tac International Airport and Olympia, the state’s capital. The city is home to 60,000 residents and nearly 3,200 businesses. Lakewood also is the host community to Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Camp Murray, two major military installations. In 2011, Lakewood was named one of the nation’s One Hundred Best Communities for Young People by America’s Promise Alliance for the fifth year. In addition to vibrant residential and business communities, the city offers a myriad of recreational opportunities for residents and tourists. These include: five lakes offering water skiing, rowing, and fishing; four golf courses; Fort Steilacoom Park, and Lakewold Gardens, to name a few.  The city also is the gateway to: Chambers Bay Golf Course, selected as home to the 2015 U.S. Open; Mt. Rainier National Park; and Puget Sound waterways and islands.

Oakhouse Redesign Creates Inviting Restaurant and Bar in Lakewood

LAKEWOOD, Wash. (August 7, 2012) – After reopening this spring with a lively new environment and fresh kitchen items, the Oakhouse Restaurant is enjoying a diversity of new patrons. Located next to the Oakbrook Golf Course in Lakewood, the redesigned “come-as-you-are” restaurant and bar is open to the public.  RMG Golf Course Management LLC (RMG) implemented the redesign and complete remodel after the partnership purchased the location in 2011.

“We’ve created the perfect location for grabbing a drink with friends or a tasty meal for families,” said Jason Moore, vice president of marketing for RMG. “It’s not just for golfers anymore. Anyone can come and enjoy the view of the golf course while eating a hamburger with a beer.”

According to Moore, interior updates are bringing new reasons to enjoy the picturesque views of the golf course from the large windows in the restaurant and bar. The upgrades include polished concrete flooring, new booths and seating arrangements, upgraded lighting, modern finishes and multiple flat-screen televisions. The kitchen and the menu have also benefited from a new perspective.

“Our focus is on fresh ingredients and quality Northwest menu options for any time of the day,” noted Brian Tholen, head chef of the restaurant. “We are especially excited about the full gluten-free menu.”

The more robust menu includes fare from steak, burgers, sandwiches, pizza, seafood, salads and pasta. Gluten-free choices range from pacific salmon to spaghetti pomodoro, plus gluten-free pasta on the children’s menu. The Oakhouse bar has new beverage choices, such as the Godiva Chocolate Orange martini, Oakhouse Rita spirit or Lakeside Splash. The restaurant currently has a four-star rating on Yelp

The Oakhouse Restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. M-Th, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sat and 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sun and is located at 8102 Zircon Drive in Lakewood, Washington. More information about the Oakhouse is available by calling (253) 584-8888.

About Lakewood, Washington

Lakewood is the second largest city in Pierce County and the eighteenth largest in Washington. It is strategically located between Sea-Tac International Airport and Olympia, the state’s capital. The city is home to 60,000 residents and nearly 3,200 businesses. Lakewood also is the host community to Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Camp Murray, two major military installations. In 2011, Lakewood was named one of the nation’s One Hundred Best Communities for Young People by America’s Promise Alliance for the fifth year. In addition to vibrant residential and business communities, the city offers a myriad of recreational opportunities for residents and tourists. These include: five lakes offering water skiing, rowing, and fishing; four golf courses; Fort Steilacoom Park, and Lakewold Gardens, to name a few.  The city also is the gateway to Chambers Bay Golf Course, selected as home to the 2015 U.S. Open; Mt. Rainier National Park; and Puget Sound waterways and islands.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 8/24/2012

August 24, 2012
WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Lakewood welcomes unique new business:   10-20 Services hosted an all-day Grand Opening and tour of their new facilities at the 512 Business Park on August 22nd. The company was established to provide maintenance and repair services of body armor, and unit equipment for the U.S. military central issue facilities, units, and soldiers worldwide. Their patented cleaning system is the first of its kind in the United States. Lakewood was chosen as their flagship operation for its proximity to JBLM and overwhelming support for doing business here.
  • Public Works applies for 3 Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) Grants:
    • Steilacoom Blvd – Weller Road to Phillips Road ($3.1 Million Total Cost – 80% grant funded): Complete curb, gutter, sidewalks, street lighting, signal replacement, and overlay.
    • Steilacoom Blvd – Bridgeport Way to Fairlawn ($1.5 Million Total Cost – 80% grant funded): complete curb, gutter, sidewalks, street lighting, and overlay.City
    • South Tacoma Way – Steilacoom Blvd to 88th ($1.5 Million Total Cost – 80% grant funded): signal modification to add a 4th leg at 88th, addition of right-turn pocket on Steilacoom Blvd, complete sidewalks on South Tacoma Way, modify / close driveways, illumination, and overlay.
  • Interlaaken Bridge – Pile Cap Repair – Delayed for the Birds:   The repair of the pile cap on Interlaaken Bridge has been delayed up to 6 weeks while workers wait for some “protected-species” swallows, nesting under the bridge, to grow strong enough to vacate their nest. The pile cap repair must be completed before the current (more strict) load restrictions can be removed.
  • Madigan Access Improvements – Surveying to Start:   Field crews from the City’s consultant, AHBL, will be out on Berkeley Street interchange and Union Avenue starting next week to complete topographic survey for the Madigan Access Improvement project.
  • Murray Road / 146th Street and 150th Street – Traffic Revision:   Striping will be completed this week on the newly completed Murray Road and 150th Street widening and intersection improvements. Left turns from Murray Road to 146th Street will be permanently disallowed in the next few weeks when median curbing is completed. All vehicles accessing Woodbrook will need to go through the roundabout at 150th and Murray.
  • Roadway Paint Striping continuing:   Pierce County crews, on behalf of the City of Lakewood, will be completing additional roadway paint striping in Lakewood next week (weather permitting).

New Subscription Model Increases Number of Golfers at Oakbrook Golf Course

LAKEWOOD, Wash. (July 16, 2012) – The new ownership group of the Oakbrook Golf Course in Lakewood, Wash. is using a non-traditional and pioneering business model to secure the golf course’s financial future and entice more golfers to walk the greens. The once private golf club has switched from an expensive membership model to annual subscriptions at significantly lower prices. Since introducing the model at the beginning of the year, the number of golfers at Oakbrook has increased more than 420 percent.

RMG Golf Course Management LLC (RMG) bought Oakbrook in late 2011 and the ownership team immediately began to implement the subscription model. Between January and May of this year, the roster of golfers grew from 124 memberships to 650 subscriptions, and the sign up rate has not slowed down. The ownership of RMG includes Puyallup-born professional golfer Ryan Moore and his father, Michael Moore, as well as 12 other partners. The senior Moore is the CEO of RMG. His younger son Jason Moore is the vice president of marketing.

The City of Lakewood Economic Development Manager, Ellie Chambers-Grady, knows the change at Oakbrook is a huge benefit to the area and to the neighbors. “Everyone loves a turnaround story during challenging economic times,” she adds. “The city always welcomes businesses who help us improve our infrastructure. We need them to grow our local economy. It is also nice to have another neighborhood restaurant nearby.”

The subscription model was a reaction by the partners in RMG to the real-world barriers of playing golf, such as cost of play per round, the amount of time required for a game and the difficulty of learning the sport. Moore knows that the subscription model takes away the first barrier. He also believes the upgraded course conditions, as well as the availability of encouraging instructors and a variety of lessons offerings will remove the final two barriers.

Encouraging more women to take up the sport is another motivating factor. “Golf on private courses is a broken business model, because of limited access. The stigma that golf is a sport for men doesn’t help either,” notes Ryan Moore who travels the country and internationally, playing on up to 40 of the best courses known to golfers each year. “I want everyone to enjoy the sport that I love and I want them to feel welcome on our courses, and I do mean everyone.”

There are three levels of unlimited golf at Oakbrook: Club level at $49 per month; Premier at $119; and All Access at $179. Subscribers can add low-cost package upgrades for spouses or children. These prices are in sharp contrast to the previous monthly fee of over $400 and an additional $800 in annual expenses that Oakbrook members paid when the course was private. Each of the three subscription

options have different ranges of times that golfers can access the course. Subscribers can easily sign-up for tee-times online. The “private club” amenities are available with all packages including unlimited driving-range balls, access to the recently remodeled restaurant and bar, locker rooms and tee-time booking.

According to Chief Operating Officer of RMG, Shawn Cucciardi, the company’s mission is to make world-class golf accessible to everyone and to enhance the variety of people who are playing. “We now have members young and old playing,” adds Cucciardi. “This is exactly what we wanted to achieve and is a true reflection of the Lakewood community. The difference between the previous membership roster and the current subscription roster speaks volumes about our approach."

The RMG ownership selected Oakbrook because of the proximity of the course to the two other courses that they manage: The Classic and McCormick Woods. The demographics in Lakewood were a bonus. “We knew that Lakewood had the perfect customer base for our endeavor and we wanted to test it in a community that was interested in new ideas,” added the senior Moore.

The Moores and their partners have made a significant financial commitment towards upgrading the course and facilities. Due to dwindling revenues, the course was not in its best shape when the ownership exchange occurred. To-date, they have restored the greens to their legendary smooth and speedy pace and have attacked organic issues in the fairways by ‘punching and sanding’ and fertilizing to improve overall turf health. Additional improvements include grooming of the bunkers and the addition of more sand, which has made them very ‘playable’ hazards.

The experience at the Oakhouse, the golf course’s restaurant and bar, has also been completely overhauled. The interior updates now make the space family and golfer friendly. The menu is more robust with Northwest fare from steak, burgers, salads and pasta to a full gluten-free menu. Cucciardi believes that “the “come-as-you-are” mood is drawing new diners, as the number of guests has grown beyond initial expectations since welcoming in the public.

About Lakewood, Washington

Lakewood is the second largest city in Pierce County and the eighteenth largest in Washington. It is strategically located between Sea-Tac International Airport and Olympia, the state’s capital. The city is home to 60,000 residents and nearly 3,200 businesses. Lakewood also is the host community to Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Camp Murray, two major military installations. In 2011, Lakewood was named one of the nation’s One Hundred Best Communities for Young People by America’s Promise Alliance for the fifth year. In addition to vibrant residential and business communities, the city offers a myriad of recreational opportunities for residents and tourists. These include: five lakes offering water skiing, rowing, and fishing; four golf courses; Fort Steilacoom Park, and Lakewold Gardens, to name a few.  The city also is the gateway to: Chambers Bay Golf Course, selected as home to the 2015 U.S. Open; Mt. Rainier National Park; and Puget Sound waterways and islands.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 8/17/2012

August 17, 2012
WEEKLY INFO BULLETIN
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • CSRT provides abatement and enforcement training to Kenmore and Wenatchee: The Community Safety Resource Team (CSRT) staff are working with staff and leaders of the cities of Kenmore and Wenatchee to discuss abatements and multi-agency enforcement strategies for problem properties and businesses. The two cities were referred to Lakewood by other agencies who stated that Lakewood has a reputation for its expertise in these areas and for the success of the CSRT.
  • Senator Patty Murray visits Lakewood City Hall to announce OEA Grant award: The steering committee of the South Sound Military & Communities Partnership met on August 14th and was joined by Senator Murray. An overview of the JBLM growth coordination planning process was presented to the Senator, who is chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs. She discussed her priorities about veterans’ service programs with group, which included the SSMCP elected officials council chairs – Mayor Doug Richardson, County Executive Pat McCarthy, and Thurston County Commissioner Cathy Wolfe. She also notified the group that the continuation grant of $235,000 from the Defense Department’s Office of Economic Adjustment was approved.
  • Police Chief is speaker at Lakewood Rotary: Chief Bret Farrar was the guest speaker on August 17th at the Lakewood Rotary Club. He provided an update on new programs in which the Police Department is involved, and addressed numerous questions from the members.
  • CSRT secures abandoned house from squatters: Officers arrived at a residence on Glenwood Dr SW on August 14th to evict the occupants who were determined to be squatters in an abandoned house. LPD had been receiving calls for service about loud parties. After extensive research, the actual owners of the home were contacted, and they authorized the City to take steps to secure the house so no one else could gain illegal access. The house will be secured and if the original trespassers are located they will be arrested.
  • Sounder testing underway: Sound Transit continues its testing of the new commuter rail service to Lakewood in anticipation of official start of service in October. Motorists are advised to obey all traffic signals around railroad crossings. (Photo below from 108th St courtesy of Marc Amrine.)

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