Warren Theatres in Wichita may benefit from Broken Arrow theater upgrades

Check out Bill Warren’s picks for this year’s Oscars.

 

WICHITA — Broken Arrow may be the future home of Bill Warren’s latest theater, but whatever new features are popular in the more than $40 million complex may eventually be added to his Warren Theatres here.

“If some of the ideas work like we think, yeah,” Warren says.

He compares each of his new theaters to a new Mercedes Benz.

“You still know it’s a Mercedes. It still has the same look, but there are all these improvements,” Warren says. “You always try to keep up. You always try to be innovative.”

He won’t share what those innovations are yet, though.

“No, because we’re actually working on some patents.”

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Scholfield Auto Plaza to become Wichita Luxury Collection, A Member of the Scholfield Automotive Group, and move to 13th and Greenwich

UPDATED — More than four years after first discussing a possible move, Scholfield Auto Plaza is preparing to break ground on a new luxury auto dealership near the northwest corner of 13th and Greenwich.

President and managing partner Bobby Cuillo says the new showrooms within the newly named Wichita Luxury Collection, A Member of the Scholfield Automotive Group are going on 17 acres behind Home Bank & Trust.

“They’re not going to be over-the-top or ostentatious, but there will be a tremendous amount of thoughtful touches,” Cuillo says. “No detail will be left out.”

Currently, the Lexus dealership is in 16,000 square feet at 11220 E. Kellogg. Next door, Mercedes-Benz, Acura, Porsche and Jaguar share a 30,000-square-foot showroom at 11212 E. Kellogg.

“We’ve outgrown these facilities,” Cuillo says.

The new Lexus showroom will be 26,000 square feet.

Mercedes-Benz is now going to have its own 26,000-square-foot showroom, which will be built at the same time as the Lexus showroom.

“You can see the growth that they’ve projected,” Cuillo says of Mercedes-Benz.

Within two to four years, two other new buildings will be built next to the Lexus and Mercedes-Benz showrooms. Acura most likely will have its own space, and Jaguar and Porshe will share a space.

“From an interruption standpoint … it’s easier to bite off a little at a time,” Cuillo says.

“It just makes better sense.”

Cuillo says construction may start in August, but it could be a little later. “Certainly before the year is out.”

The new showrooms will be across the intersection from Scholfield Buick GMC, which is going on the southwest corner.

At the new showrooms, there will be Starbucks outlets similar to the ones found in Dillons and Target stores.

In the Lexus dealership, there will be a putting green and a multiuse room for cooking demonstrations and salon and spa treatments. Cuillo says he’ll establish partnerships with vendors who can offer his customers diversions while they wait for their cars to be serviced. He does some of that now, but Cuillo says, “This will be on a much grander scale.”

In both dealerships, there will be glass walls at the service areas so customers can watch their cars getting serviced.

Cuillo says building separate showrooms “obviously puts the focus on one brand.”

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You don’t say

“It occurred to me that there are nearly as many Mercedes Benz on a per capita basis as there are at Bradley Fair.”

— Consultant Jim Gregory, who noticed a number of pricey cars while attending an aviation trade show in Miami Beach this week

Wichitan’s Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG purchase is a coup for Scholfield Auto Plaza

Klaus and Traci Viljanmaa with their daughter, Finley, and Klaus' newest baby, a 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG.

Klaus and Traci Viljanmaa with their daughter, Finley, and Klaus' newest baby, a 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG.

WICHITA — Wichitan Klaus Viljanmaa grew up in Finland in a family that was “crazy” for cars and motorcycles, but his father issued an edict that no Mercedes-Benz would ever be found in his driveway.

He told his children those cars are for “better people,” meaning uppity ones.

His father relented, though, which is good for Viljanmaa, who this week bought his fourth Mercedes — a 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, for $240,000.

“The cars are half price,” Viljanmaa says of what cars cost in the United States versus Finland. “So I wouldn’t complain here.”

Scholfield Auto Plaza general manager Bobby Cuillo isn’t complaining, either.

“He’s an unbelievable repeat customer of mine,” Cuillo says of Viljanmaa.

Just to be able to sell the car was a coup for Cuillo.

There are only 475 of them that will be built this year, and there are 355 Mercedes-Benz dealerships nationally. The ones in bigger metro areas, particularly on the coasts, are the dealerships that generally get the exclusive cars.

“We had to go to bat with Mercedes,” Cuillo says.

Ordinarily, he wouldn’t have gotten to sell the car for another two or three years.

Cuillo, though, could show Mercedes his dealership’s market penetration and industry-leading customer satisfaction.

“It’s a real success,” he says. “It’s great for Wichita, too.”

Cuillo says he has a “phenomenal relationship” with Mercedes-Benz, but still the company wanted to know who was going to get the car.

“They want it in the hands of Mercedes aficionados.”

Viljanmaa is a car and motorcycle aficionado — period.

Cuillo says he appreciates Viljanmaa’s love of vehicles, but he also likes his personal story.

Viljanmaa’s family was involved with Lions Clubs International in Finland, and he came here as part of an exchange program.

Wichitan Traci Hutchings’ family was a host family. She saw about 15 potential exchange students in pictures.

“She claims she saw me and chose me from that picture,” Viljanmaa says.

Years later, the two married and now have three children.

“She calls me the mail-order boy.”

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Scholfield opens used luxury dealership in former west-side Saturn space

WICHITA — Scholfield Select Pre-Owned Center opened today in the former Saturn dealership at 8800 W. Central Ave.

“What we really have heard for a long time in Wichita (is) there’s a whole west-side clientele that doesn’t get served,” says Travis Brandenburgh, general sales manager for Scholfield Auto Plaza and Scholfield Lexus.

Those dealerships are at Kellogg and Greenwich, and west-side customers who have purchased vehicles there haven’t been able to fully take advantage of services like courtesy pick-ups and car washes.

“The people out west ought to get to take advantage of (those), too, without having to drive all the way across town,” Brandenburgh says.

The dealership will sell a variety of used luxury and import vehicles including brands Scholfield already sells, like Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Acura and Lexus.

Brandenburgh says vehicle prices will range from as little as $8,000 to as much as $80,000.

“The whole point here with us is just (to) broaden the reach.”