Spoko Fuel Grand Opening Party

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at SPOKO FuelThe Spokane Tribe's newest enterprise venture, SPOKO Fuel opened its doors to a grand opening party on July 21, 2006. Approximately 120 guests attended the Grand Opening Ceremony which included welcome speeches by the Spokane Tribal Business Council, Opening Prayer by Jim Sijohn and a brief statement from the Airway Heights City Mayor, Matt Pederson. Gabby Corral and his family provided traditional songs during the ceremony and also while Harold Campbell smudged the property and guests. Spokane Tribal Elders in attendance assisted with the ceremonial ribbon cutting in front of the new convenience store. All of the ceremony guests received a souvenir gift on behalf of the Spokane Tribal Business Council. Ilene Flett and Monica Peone assisted organizers with event details and also by handing out the t-shirts and hats.

KXLY broadcasting life from SPOKO FuelThe exciting day began early with KXLY television news crew broadcasting live from SPOKO Fuel. KXLY reporter Rick Lukens did several live reports showing off the Tribe's new facility while giving away a few SPOKO Fuel gas cards to some lucky customers. Lukens toured the 6400 sq. ft. facility with his TV camera-crew during their morning newscast from 5am to 7am. The Grand Opening party was a three day event ending late Sunday afternoon with KDRK 94 FM-Country radio station broadcasting live from outside of SPOKO Fuel.

All SPOKO Fuel customers throughout the weekend party had the opportunity to enter two drawings for the chance to win a BBQ grill or a mountain bike. Richard Higel from Airway Heights was the lucky winner of the grill and Laura Brisbois won the mountain bike. Both winners were thrilled to hear of their prizes when contacted by the contest organizers. SPOKO Fuel customers received free hot dogs and cake all weekend long.

SPOKO Fuel manager, Greg Dauter and staff prepared for the store's opening by participating in several weeks of training. The Institute for Extended Learning and the Community Colleges of Spokane Business and Community Training Division provided training on the various aspects of convenience store operations. Training included customer service, deli operations, inventory management and merchandising. The SPOKO Fuel staff works under the direction of store manager Greg Dauter. Dauter and staff report directly to the Spokane Tribe's new CEO of Enterprises, Tom Lien. All of the SPOKO Fuel staff were brought on board through the Tribe's new 477 program. The 15 staff members graduated from the tailored training program on June 22, 2006.

Staff was busy stocking store shelves and coolers and learning how to operate the deli equipment prior to the big grand opening party.

The grand opening guests and store customers enjoyed the weekend filled with prizes, in-store specials and the opportunity to share in the Spokane Tribe's special day on the West Plains.