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Ultra Modern Pool & Patio to have new west-side warehouse

08/13/2014 12:00 AM

08/13/2014 11:06 AM

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 this fall, “and we should be smiling a lot more.”

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @CarrieRengers.

About Carrie Rengers

Carrie Rengers joined The Eagle's Business team in 2002 despite her inability to even balance a checkbook. Fortunately for her, and readers, her Have You Heard? blog is about business scoops and contains lots of news but almost no math.

A Michigan native, Carrie’s father was quite tragically transferred to Little Rock, Ark., in the middle of her sophomore year of high school. To make matters worse, her parents put her in a girls school. She recovered, though, and went on to enjoy being an English major at Hendrix College (the Harvard of the Ozarks, don’t you know). She worked for the weekly Arkansas Business and the statewide daily Arkansas Democrat-Gazette before moving to Wichita to be with her favorite writer and cook, husband Joe Stumpe.

Carrie encourages readers to contact her with tips, questions, behind-the-scenes business news and even funny quotes from business people. Reach her at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com


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