AVONDALE, Ariz. – To complement an interior with a waiting area that feels more like the lobby of a nice hotel, one Arizona car dealership has created an equally inviting exterior with the application of NewGrass™.

Avondale Toyota, north of Phoenix, is one of three Toyota dealerships in the Phoenix area that has been designed as part of Toyota’s “Image USA II” program. Launched last year, Image USA II is targeted to upgrade Toyota dealership exteriors and interiors. The program features a special emphasis on what the company calls customer “touch points.”

Inside, amenities may include a children’s play area in the showroom, a coffee bar and upgraded restroom facilities.

At Avondale Toyota, the dealership also needed to do something about its landscaping. The property features a long, sweeping drive leading from the street to a circular drive that flows around a hillock in front of the expansive, modern showroom. But the appeal of that inviting entryway was lost because the ground simply couldn’t support natural grass.

“We had natural turf in there, but we just couldn’t keep it looking nice,” said John Rondaux, Avondale Toyota’s director of operations. “It was always a mess and a hassle to maintain.”

Plus, Rondaux said, the company likes to display new cars on the small rise at the center of the circle drive.

“And that really did a number on the grass,” he said.

Rondaux contacted a NewGrass distributor in response to an ad on ServiceMagic, an online marketing program.

“They had this beautiful shop and showroom, a snack bar, insulated coffee mugs for customers – a dealership showroom that is breathtaking and beautiful – and the first thing you saw when you drove up was this horrible, dead, nasty lawn,” said Chris Harlien, operations director for STC (Synthetic Turf Company), a NewGrass distributor in nearby Scottsdale.,

“John said to me, ‘That’s why we want to go with synthetic lawn,’ and I assured him I could make the front of their dealership look as nice as the inside.”

“We wanted the lawn, but without the constant hassle of a lawn,” Rondaux said. “And it did look pretty bad before.”

The installation required nearly 3,000 square feet of NewGrass in one area along the expansive drive and on both ends of the drive’s circle. The installation was done in one day, including removing existing turf and using premium infill of rubber compost, Harlien said.

“We look at that as a showpiece,” he said.

Rondaux is equally impressed with the results.

“It looks great, the installation went smoothly, it’s all good,” he said. “It looks just like they said it would.”

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