WICHITA — A storm last summer is leading to a new warehouse this summer for Ultra Modern Pool & Patio.
Co-owner Rita Rowlen says “it just looked like a tornado had hit” her west-side warehouse after a “92-mile-an-hour wind came straight through” and “it took off the entire roof” along with a wall.
“It just took the wall and rolled it over like a domino,” she says. “The garage door was just all crinkled up.”
The 8,000-square-foot warehouse at 1501 S. Tyler was full of more than $1 million in hot tubs and patio furniture.
“It was raining cats and dogs that night,” Rowlen says.
She says she and her employees spent hours packing 40-foot storage units with the products.
“We just lined them up. Boom, boom, boom.”
Then they had to unbox them in a dry place and inspect them and then sell the merchandise at a discount. Otherwise, Rowlen says, “We would have had empty stores.”
However, she says they might have chosen that with the benefit of hindsight.
“The excess workload was unbelievable.”
Now, a new 8,000-square-foot warehouse under construction at the site of the west-side store at 8100 W. Kellogg should allow for more efficiency than the old one, Rowlen says.
“We’ve kind of had to jump through some hoops with the city of Wichita to get permitting,” she says.
The new warehouse is being added to an existing 5,000-square-foot one.
“We had to really kind of think out of the box,” Rowlen says.
She expects it to be built by fall, “and we should be smiling a lot more.”