(This guest blog was written by one of our amazing clients at Park Place Lexus Plano, Robert Lee, who did an incredible job of providing a special Christmas surprise for his wife. It’s such a great story, that we thought you would like to read it too!)
It was one week before Christmas and I got a text message. The text message (to paraphrase) asked if I would be interested in trading in my wife’s 2010 Lexus IS250-C with a 2013 model. It was from a sales associate I’ve worked with before at Park Place Lexus of Plano. While this may seem like a sales pitch, it was not. The associate knew my wife and I were huge car enthusiasts. No, we’re not made of infinite means and my wife’s car is in perfect working condition (it had less than 8,500 miles on it). However, with the revised IS coming out next year and the “December to Remember” event at Lexus – he thought we could have an opportunity to get a great deal on a new car. So a plan was hatched (BTW, this article is not about patting me on the back – more about the dedication Lexus puts into customer relations).
I am a firm believer that life is about experiences. In front of me was a perfect opportunity to create an everlasting memory for my wife. The plan went like this: I would swap out her 2010 IS250-C with a 2013 IS350-C. I knew that besides some very minor visual cues (day time running LEDs, GPS antenna shape change, telematics system) the cars would look identical. Stephen Wedderburn (the sales associate) searched high and low and was able to locate for me an updated version of my wife’s car. The cars were the same in every way – color outside, inside, options, wheels.
A little white lie later, I was able to take my wife’s old car and drove it to the dealership for the swap. Having both cars parked side by side, I replicated the cabins. I moved all her personal belongings from old to new. I adjusted the seats, mirrors, radio stations. Then I had to race home so I can program the home-link garage door opener before she returned home.
So the trap was set. She returned home and didn’t notice a single thing. Like a predator waiting for its kill, I patiently watched as she went about her day knowing that she will use her car again in the very near future. And then it happened, she needed to leave the house. She got in her car and was about to start it. After a slight pause, she hopped out of the car and ran to the rear and noticed that it was an IS350-C (i.e. NOT her car). Needless to say, the cat was out of the bag at that time. Struck with shock and glee, she ran to me and thanked me for the amazing surprise.
While I had hoped that she would have driven away and then noticed it, it was great to be there to see her reaction. I later asked what gave it away. Her response was the “new car” smell. For a flash of a second, she thought I had taken her car and gotten it detailed. So she glanced at the touchscreen and noticed it squeaky clean. Then lower she went on the center console and that’s when she noticed. Her knowledge of Lexus cars is staggering. She noticed that the air recirculation button now has an “Auto” setting (that was an IS350-C exclusive even back in 2010). Go figure – the car was too perfect – that’s what gave it away.
In short, it was a surprise I could not have pulled off without the aid of Stephen and the amazing staff at Park Place Lexus of Plano. His dedication to his job is evident in everything he does. Considering that it was the dealership’s busiest time of the year (i.e. time when he can be making more sales if he was on the showroom floor), he took the time and effort in making this happen for me. Don’t let his youth and dashing smile mislead you, he is a professional thru and thru. We’ve purchased our last four cars from Park Place Lexus of Plano. We have no reason to go anywhere else. If what you want is a great car and to be treated with respect – please go visit Stephen at Park Place Lexus. You will not be disappointed. Kudos to the entire staff at the dealership. They are all second to none.Comments
On the evening of November 15th, the lights of Park Place Lexus were shining well into the night as the dealership welcomed hundreds of the Lexus LS enthusiasts who’ve made Park Place their preferred dealer over the years.
With the holiday season creeping in closely, the event presented a cheerful, vibrant feel. As guests sipped on “Luxuritas,” made with Avion Tequila and listened to the quirky, stringed renditions of “Hotel California,” in the background, Park Place heralded the arrival of the holiday party season as much as it did the arrival of a new version of their signature vehicle.
Avion wasn’t the only non-vehicular brand representing itself capably during the party. Providing a scrumptious array of cuisine was chef Kent Rathbun and his crew. The Rathbun catering crew’s inventive take on sliders and decadent mac ‘n cheese made with gruyere highlighted, why it is that Rathbun’s name is culinary gold. especially in Collin County where his Jasper’s is a top destination. If nothing else, the savory bites were evidence enough that Thursday night was more than a simple gathering of loyal customers. If the mac ‘n cheese was decadent, then the offerings from Allen’s Sublime Chocolates were downright criminal. Make no mistake; the well-appointed showroom was transformed into a foodie haven as well as a welcome spot for LS lovers.
Many of the people who made their way into the showroom have come to know one another over the years, not simply by their automotive affiliation, but by their dedication to worthy causes in Collin County. Perhaps the new LS and Rathbun’s delicacies have far-reaching brand power, but the most important name of the night belonged to the Collin County Children’s Advocacy Center (CCCAC) an organization that’s helped countless families for 20 years.
The CCCAC has been the saving grace for children victimized by abuse and are in need of assistance when a helping hand seems far away. Lynn McLean, the Center’s CEO, was on-hand to ensure the mission of the cause she leads reaches to as many people in the community as possible.
McLean spoke to us for a few moments as her team sold fund-raising raffle tickets. While winning a new Lexus or choice seats to the area’s top ballet are fantastic rewards, McLean makes it clear that the people who purchasing raffle tickets that night were satisfied with the prize of knowing they are directly assisting neighboring families by helping to create a safe, nurturing place that can help in ways no other center in North Texas can.
For McLean, the relationship between Park Place Lexus and the center, which began rather serendipitously, has turned into something that displays a community that’s fully united for this much-needed cause.
“A few years ago, the Center purchased a Lexus from Park Place to raffle off as the grand prize at our annual Gala in order to create some real excitement,”
“Having the Lexus for our raffle not only created the excitement we hoped it would, but for the last three years, the Dallas/Fort Worth Lexus Dealerships have donated a car for our raffle’s grand prize, which has just been an amazing gift, and it’s made this partnership such a strong one. Thanks to this relationship, we’re able to create a greater amount of awareness for the Center than ever before. For us, and the resources we provide, creating awareness is so very important.”
Evidence of the synergy that’s developed between Park Place Lexus, the loyal LS customers and the Collin County Children’s Advocacy Center was in plain sight for each attendee to see as they walked into the showroom’s main doors. A gleaming, white Lexus convertible was surrounded by donations from the night’s attendees for the Advocacy Center’s Rainbow Room. The Rainbow Room is the arm of the Center that answers the most urgent needs of the kids and families who seek help on a daily basis. Clothing, toys and an assortment of necessary items were piled high and ready to be taken to the Center. Such a visual was yet another profound reminder that Thursday night’s soiree was a time for community action, and not merely a glitzy, new model roll-out.
Jordan Case, president of Park Place Lexus, was visibly excited about the 2013 Lexus LS, but he was more interested in speaking to us about the evening’s clear sense of community and the appreciation he feels for Park Place being able to help create that.
“Many of our customers here tonight are involved not only with the Advocacy Center but with other charitable organizations as well,” says Case. “This type of involvement is a key way in which we keep in-touch with so many of our great customers.”
Case goes on to acknowledge the bigger picture that helps all involved.
“We’ve purposely not invested very much into traditional advertising. Being involved and giving back to the community that we’re a part of is a great way to see the efforts of everyone come full-circle.”Comments
Originally slated for a run of 500, the final Lexus LFA has completed production in the LFA workshop, and will be on it’s way soon to it’s new owner, proudly wearing the LFA 500 badge.
The LFA marked a major shift in direction for Lexus, but the end of production does not mean the end of innovation. 2013 has shown many brilliant updates to the Lexus model line, and you can expect them to keep coming. Take quick look at concepts like the LF-LC and the LF-CC, and anyone can see that the future of innovation in Lexus cars is going to continue at an exciting pace.
According to Lexus, “Future Lexus vehicles will reflect the technological skills gained during the development and production of the LFA—in particular manufacturing know-how for carbon fiber reinforced plastic parts—as well as a philosophy of car design for delivering exhilarating and stimulating driving performance.”Comments
Plano I.S.D. Education Foundation and Park Place Lexus Join Forces to Support School System and Community
On November 14, 79 Plano Independent School District classrooms received a major shock when Park Place Lexus Grant Patrol teams showed up with pom-poms, noisemakers and, more importantly, grant checks.
For the seventh year running, the PISD Education Foundation has partnered with Park Place Lexus and several other sponsors to provide need-based grants for teachers who create unique, innovative programs aimed at helping their students and community. $100,000 was issued to 32 Plano ISD schools by way of 79 grants to teachers through the annual Grants to Educators program.
The Grants to Educators program assists teachers and schools in creating a better learning environment for students when tax funding falls short. Since its inception, the PISD Education Foundation has donated nearly $800,000 through the program. A panel of judges, appointed by the Education Foundation, considered each teacher’s application with a fine-toothed comb, funding 79 grants to 32 different schools. That help goes to 29,562 students and families in the Plano community reached by the grants.
Central Market hosts the Grants to Educators event each year. On this day, everyone involved with the Foundation, PISD, and the Grant Patrol assembled early in the morning at the Coit Road location for complimentary breakfast and lunch for all volunteers.
Plano ISD superintendant Richard Matkin led off the event by remarking on how appreciative the district was for the grant program and stressed its impact on the the schools. He noted that the program encourages teachers to think outside of the box and find ways to create a more conducive environment, not only for learning classroom material, but also for real-world knowledge and core values.
Teams rode along in seven brand new Lexus Grant Patrol vehicles, provided by Park Place Lexus to distribute checks to unsuspecting faculty members throughout the 100 square-mile area. Park Place has been a supporter of the Grants to Educators program for seven years running, providing vehicles and monetary donations every year.
All it takes is one look at the teachers’ reactions to understand what this event is all about: The sheer excitement and joy on many of the instructors’ faces, not to mention the jumping around and hugging, might make a grown man’s eyes water.
The kids ate up the surprise just as much as the teachers. Even the youngest screamed, clapped, and laughed along. The older kids who did understand the significance of the grants made it clear how grateful they were.
While cruising to Centennial Elementary School in our 2012 Lexus RX, Harvey Fishero said something that will not be soon forgotten: He commented on the amazing nature and character of teachers, pointing out that they acted as “parents, referees, and lawyers, while somehow still managing to teach on top of all of that.” Who better to receive help than the instructors who are trying to find better ways to mold our youth into productive, knowledgeable people?
It was easy to see that the teachers honored truly care about what they do. They care about their students and want to see them succeed, not just in the classroom, but in their community as well. The winning grant programs were based on ideals such as promoting family bonding, healthy lifestyles, helping those in need, community involvement, improving literacy, preparation for higher learning, and focus on the arts and sciences.
These teachers who were chosen to receive grant money are truly inspirational role models. Park Place Lexus is so glad to be fortunate enough to be a part of this program and show its generosity for the Education Foundation and its sponsors. Everyone involved in the Grants to Educators program deserves recognition and we hope to see more outstanding education and community-oriented programs like this in the future.Comments
Danny Balis, of Sportsradio 1310 The Ticket’s Hardline show, poses with the 2013 Lexus GS 350.
Danny, who started endorsing Park Place last year, has driven a number of Park Place vehicles. Danny recently visited Park Place Lexus to tour the dealership and test drive the new Lexus GS.
His quick take on the latest offering from Lexus – “This car is freakin’ awesome.” Well said Danny.Comments
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