A move this big has to be planned well in advance.

That’s why Kelowna Hyundai has already started the ball rolling on its relocation from its existing dealership building at 3260 Highway 97 North to a yet-to-be-constructed showpiece at 1630 Cary Rd., just off Highway 97.

“Our lease is up on this property in November 2021,” said Kelowna Hyundai president John Kot of the 3260 Highway 97 North address. “And we’ve outgrown its 2.7 acres. That’s why we put a deal together to buy the five acres where our other dealership is (Buy Direct Truck Centre at 1630 Cary Rd., just off Highway 97). It will allow us to open both a Hyundai and Genesis dealership there.”

Genesis is Hyundai’s luxury spin-off brand.

With the two dealerships in a new building on Cary Road, another, as-yet-to-determined home will be found for Buy Direct Truck Centre.

Construction on the new 30,000-square-foot state-of-the-art dealership won’t start until mid-2020 and completion is expected in the fall of 2021.

“We need to expand as the business grows,” said Kot. “When we started with Hyundai five years ago, we were selling 420 new cars and 250 used cars a year. In 2016 that was up to 800 new and 760 used. And our marketshare has more than doubled from nine per cent to 20 per cent, so it’s incredible growth.”

Eco-luxury

Kelowna’s Current Taxi debuted its two luxurious and all-electric Tesla cabs on Friday at a special event at the Best Western Hotel.

“The Best Western has a Tesla charging station and is a big supporter of what we’re doing, so it was a natural to have our grand opening there,” said Current Taxi founder Dale Conway. “Our goal is to simply offer an elevated, environmentally friendly service for the same price as a regular taxi.”

In fact, Current is British Columbia’s first all-electric taxi fleet — and for the vehicles to be premium Teslas makes it all the more noteworthy.

Current takes bookings online at CurrentTaxi.ca or on its app, now available at Google Play and the App Store.

Conway has lived in Kelowna for 22 years and always felt there was the opportunity for a different type of taxi service in the region. It all came together by offering the all-electric luxury of Tesla for the same price as a regular taxi became possible.

Conway previously worked as a gaming manager at Chances and will continue to work as a firefighter with West Kelowna Fire Rescue.

Travel Masters

The staff is all the same, but after 30 years as Mission Park Travel, the agency’s name has changed to Travel Masters.

Vancouver-based Travel Masters acquired Mission Park to make it the sixth location along with Vancouver, Sechelt, Calgary, Saskatoon and Prince Albert.

Mission Park owner Gina Kotsch is staying on as the general manager.

“This is a wonderful progression for us,” she said. “Travel Masters can help us take the next step with additional marketing and support. Plus, the company is Vancouver-based and big enough to have network buying power, but small enough to know who we are.”

Travel Masters can also offer a better commission structure for travel agents.

Mission Park was affiliated with Ensemble Travel Group before.

Travel agencies certainly have not disappeared in the Internet world.

“We are investing in travel agencies as we firmly believe in the great potential they have in this competitive market,” said Travel Masters chief operating officer James Shearer.

Travel agents can create personalized and unique itineraries for clients, access deals and offers not found online and offer ongoing support, said Kotsch.

All good at Sunwing

Sunwing Airlines has settled with its flight attendants, meaning there will be no disruption to weekly flights that the airline makes from Kelowna on Fridays to Varadero and Sundays to Cancun.

In January, Sunwing’s 1,000 flight attendants, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees, gave their union a strong strike mandate prior to a final round of bargaining at the end of the month.

A new five-deal deal was eventually agreed to by 90 per cent of workers.

Details of the pact haven’t been released, other than it’s fair for the airline and unionized workers, and will continue to offer passengers a quality experience.

Lake Country winners

The Lake Country Chamber of Commerce has handed out its 2016 business excellence awards.

• Innovative business of the year: Tuff Industries.

• Agriculture innovator: Rose Family Orchard.

• Employee of the year: Alex Ambrozy of IGA.

• Professional service of the year: John Beales Accountant.

• Customer service of the year: Oyama Zipline.

• New business of the year: Sweetlegs.

• Small business of the year: Chantana’s Thai Food.

• Tourism enhancement: Kangaroo Creek Farm.

• Community booster: Connect Communities.

• Gerry Morton Award: Duane Thomson of the Okanagan Rail Trail.

Steve MacNaull is a business reporter and columnist with The Okanagan Saturday. You can contact him by email at: steve.macnaull@ok.bc.ca.

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