CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.Plaza Tire Service Inc. is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2013, starting with the relocation of its original store in Cape Girardeau to an expanded location just around the corner.
The new 11-bay facility opened April 29, featuring an expanded showroom and state-of-the-art-equipped service areas that have room for large truck work, Plaza Tire said.
Second-generation owners Mark and Scott Rhodes, sons of Plaza Tire Service founder Vernon Pee Wee Rhodes, said they moved the dealership's flagship store in downtown Cape Girardeau to accommodate a major commercial property development.
Plaza Tire and the Rhodes family have owned or occupied the entire block of commercial property located at an intersection since 1963until recently selling some real estate to CVS Caremark Corp. To accommodate the sale, most of the dealership's former corporate offices and warehouse were demolished to rebuild its new store. Company Vice President Scott Rhodes did not specify the cost for the project. Mark Rhodes is the dealership's president.
Through the years, the dealership said it has faced a number of high and low times without ever missing a day of service.
In 1973 and 1977, the block housing its home base was covered in flood water. By 1984, the existing 11-bay store was built, and the original car wash/tire store building was demolished. Forty-two inches of flood water covered the block again in 1986.
Two years later Plaza Tire purchased a former Cape Volkswagen dealership building. On Nov. 19, 1994, a fire destroyed a large portion of the company's warehouse, which was rebuilt within months. Plaza's corporate offices were relocated to the remodeled Cape Volkswagen building in 1996 and in 1998 the former offices were converted into an employee training facility.
In 2008, the company relocated its corporate office and warehouse to its current location. Then in 2010, two more parcels were purchased, allowing Plaza Tire to own the entire block on which the dealership began operating in 1963.
Throughout its 50 years, Plaza Tire's employee base has expanded to more than 370, said the dealership, which operates 51 stores.
Scott Rhodes said Plaza is planning several events throughout the year to mark our 50th anniversary. A company spokeswoman said a grand opening for the new store will probably take place in June.
Plaza Tire carries a variety of brands including Bridgestone, Yokohama, Firestone, Dayton, Michelin, Continental, Pirelli, Dick Cepek, Falken and Nokian, along with Ultra and Enkei wheels.