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Thurmont welcomes Advance Auto Parts store

Sarah Harrington

(12/20) After seven months of construction and hard work, Thurmont’s newest edition, Advance Auto Parts, opened its doors on Saturday December 20. District Manager Lou Perez and General Manager Donnie Starliper were joined by their staff and customers as they prepared for the ribbon cutting ceremony. Customers including Commissioners Marty Burns, Wes Hammrick, and Bill Bueher enjoyed coffee and doughnuts as they browsed the new 6,900 square-foot store and mingled with fellow attendees.

Construction of the new store began back in May. The decision to open a new branch in Thurmont came after an analysis of the customers’ zip codes from the Taneytown and Frederick stores. According to Perez, "residents from Emmitsburg and Thurmont were split equally between choosing the Frederick and Taneytown stores." Because of these findings, the idea of bringing a store to Thurmont seemed like a great solution to cutting down driving times for Thurmont and Emmitsburg residents. Starliper, who Perez referred to as "the man on the ground," commented, "There is a large demand for auto parts in the area and the only competition is Napa. People can always use more choices." The store is located off of Route 15 beside Mountain Gate Family Restaurant and across from the new Dunkin Donuts.

The store not only has a convenient location, but also a friendly and helpful staff that was very eager for the opening after all the hard work that went into it. Jacob Tregoning, a Thurmont resident and employee commented, "I was excited when we opened! I got a job in Thurmont, my hometown, being around car parts. Cars are my second passion, and finally seeing the store opened up and running after all the work my fellow team members and I put in through stocking our store and getting it ready for opening day was great." Starliper, who came to the Thurmont store from the Germantown store, shared his staff’s enthusiasm as he opened the store’s doors to the Thurmont residents. He mingled with customers, handed out free hats, and was happy to answer any questions.

At 11 a.m., Starliper and Perez invited everyone to join them outside for the ribbon cutting ceremony. Before cutting the ribbon, Perez took the time to thank all who had helped to make this opening possible.

Starliper took a moment to honor a long-held tradition of the company. When a new Advance Auto store is opened, the company donates funds to a local charity. The charity chosen by the new Thurmont branch was the local food bank. Before cutting the red ribbon and declaring the store open, Perez and Starliper presented a $1,000 check to Pastor Sally, who accepted it on behalf of the food bank.

Starliper and Perez gave the honor of cutting the ribbon to Commissioner Marty Burns, who spoke very highly of the new store, stating, "We are very happy you made the investment in our town."

Customers can now visit the store Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The store provides all things auto parts. "The opening just happened to fall on Christmas week," Starliper commented. Though it was not opened on the week of Christmas on purpose, it worked out nicely. The opening came just in time for Thurmont residents to pick up any last minute gift for car lovers, and the new addition was a great early Christmas present for the town of Thurmont.

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