Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Fort Carson Mountaineer

Commissary opens Wednesday

By Nancy O’Nell

Defense Commissary Agency West Public Affairs Officer

Making good on a promise to deliver a 21st century commissary benefit to its customers, the Defense Commissary Agency will open its newest full-service grocery store at Fort Carson Wednesday.

The community is invited to attend the 10 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony. Doors to the $18.7 million modern facility will open immediately following.

The new store is nearly 50-percent larger than the one it’s replacing, and it has something inside for every type of commissary shopper, according to DeCA Director and CEO Joseph H. Jeu.

“In the design phase, we considered the unique needs of singles, Families and retirees from all walks of military life,” Jeu said. “Our customers are telling us they want a variety of choices when they shop. This store delivers on that requirement and will make every shopping trip a pleasant experience.”

The new commissary features extensive produce, meat and grocery departments; an international delicatessen and bakery; sushi to go and rotisserie chicken.

Sustainability and energy-saving features are priorities for DeCA, and the store meets Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards for silver certification. An Energy Star-rated roofing system, Energy Star-rated equipment, natural lighting in sales areas, LED lighting on refrigerated-glass-door cases and walk-in freezers, water-saving plumbing fixtures, non-ozone-depleting refrigerants and native plants used in landscaping are some of the many green technologies and features that were designed into the project.

About 115,000 authorized shoppers live within the Fort Carson Commissary commuting area, and the Fort Carson Plans Analysis and Integration Office predicts the area’s military population will increase by 6,700 in the next three years, when Fort Carson becomes home to a new combat aviation brigade.

The bigger commissary, with 28 checkout registers, was built to handle the additional customer traffic.

“Every department is larger,” said store director Rhonda Smith. “With eight more registers and wider aisles, this store helps us provide the high-quality service our customers deserve and have earned.”

Many events are planned to make the opening fun and provide opportunities for customers to win prizes and save money. Grand opening promotional prices will begin Wednesday and run through Memorial Day. Products will be on promotional prices at varying times throughout the period.

Commissary vendors will award commissary gift cards and other prizes daily through Memorial Day, with a grand prize, an automobile, to be awarded on Memorial Day.

Smith recommends customers shop often to take advantage of the great prices and vendor giveaways.

The old Fort Carson Commissary will close at 6 p.m., Sunday. No commissary services will be available at Fort Carson Monday and Tuesday as the commissary staff prepares for the grand opening.

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