Tesla has only had access to the new Sarasota Service Center for a short time to convert it for use. While we were visiting the electricians continue to work. We were told that the floors will be resurphased and obviously a lot more equipment has yet to be installed.
Earlier this month I had occasion to contact Mark LaPlant, the Manager of the Tesla Tampa Service Centers regarding a Tampa matter. He casually mentioned that he had been out of the office on a project for Elon. Although I certainly was curious, out of courtesy I didn’t press him on the comment. Little did I know at the time that the project in question was going to greatly benefit current and future Tesla owners living in and nearby the Sarasota area.
Last year Elon had gone on record via Twitter of having reviewed Tesla’s service locations in North America and had come to the realization that there was a need to quickly expand Service Center coverage. It turns out that Mark and his boss, Gus Cobeaga, Regional Service Manager, had been pursuing a new Service Center in Sarasota and recently got the “Okay” from Elon. Since I live in Sarasota, for purely selfish reasons, I am sure glad that Elon listened to Mark and Gus. ;-)
Seriously, this is a very sound decision because it builds off of the presence of a Tesla Store in Sarasota and the significant ownership base that already exists here. Likewise having an existing 20-stall Supercharger Station in Sarasota is helpful for prospective new Tesla owners who live in condos or rental units where obtaining permission to install a home charger may be problematic.
The point is that having this threesome of a Store, a Service Center, and a large Supercharger Station all in Sarasota will serve to drive demand because it alleviates any reservations prospective owners in the area may have about the convenience of a buying, servicing or charging a Tesla (even if they can't install a home charger).
So, two days ago when Mark invited me to join him for a soft opening of a new Sarasota Service Center I was naturally pleasantly surprised and very excited. He also gratiously permited me to invite our club members who live in Sarasota. About two dozen expressed an interest in dropping by today. From the smiles on their faces you can see that they are enthusiastic as well.
Mark says that they have already selectively been taking a few cars for service, but he estimates that they won't be fully operational for at least a week or more. There's a lot of work to do, but Mark's an old hand at this.
The service center is located at:
5231 McIntosh Rd, Sarasota, FL 34233
Here's a vicinity map.
For full-sized images of any of the photos, right click on the image and open it in a new tab.
The service center is located off of exit #205 on I-75. (As you can see, Google obligingly informs me that it will only take me 14 minutes to drive there from home!)
Here are some photos:
Address: 5231 McIntosh Rd, Sarasota
One lift had been installed, more to come.
Two Tesla Wall Connectors have been installed, more to come.
There are two overhead doors providing access to the facility
The future lobby area has quite a bit of space.
Yes, it has a restroom.
Mark LaPlant, Service Manager for the Tampa and Sarasota Service Centers (in the middle). Early arrival club members on the left and Tesla Service techs on the right.
Mark LaPlant on the right. Happy Sarasota club members on the left.
Before going to the Service Center.
After going to the Service Center.
Full disclosure: it's not likely that the Service Center will be doing body repairs. Actually, this is a photo of club member Pete Borras, who is also the owner of the Tesla Studio in Tampa and First Impression Premeir Auto Detail in Sarasota (Pete is a Master Detailer and Paint Correction Specialist.) Pete unfortunately was in an accident with his Model 3 as seen in the previous photo. Fortunately, he was not hurt and here he is with his back-up Model 3.
More photos of happy club members from Sarasota:
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