MINI Dealership to be Mecca for the MINI

WESLEY CHAPEL, FL - It is envisioned as a Mini Cooper lover's paradise.

From the second story of the 20,000-square-foot dealership a variety of Coopers – from Cooper Hardtops to Cooper Convertibles to the Cooper Clubman – will be showcased in a massive display window.

Malcolm Cheek, general manager of Minis of Wesley Chapel, said the intent is to make the dealership a veritable clubhouse for Cooper lovers. It is slated to open in September off State Road 56 about a third of a mile east of Interstate 75. A groundbreaking was held in January.

"We won't have any hair salons in there, or do manicures, but in all candor, the way the Mini culture is, we want to make it a place for gathering," Cheek said. "It'll be like a very large Mini club in the state of Florida. There will be specific areas where people can hang out and customize their Minis."

Minis of Wesley Chapel is owned by Morgan Auto Group, which operates several dealerships around the Tampa Bay area, as well as Sarasota and Gainesville. Cheek said the location was chosen, in part, because of the large number of Minis registered to drivers in the area.

He said the demographics also were ideal, and the closest Mini dealer to the location is 31 miles away.

Besides the "bird perch" display window, the two-story location will include 13 service bays. It sits on a 2-acre tract.

Cheek expects no shortage of business, thanks to the Mini Cooper's popularity.

"The biggest thing is that people become extremely emotionally attached to the cars," he said. "It's a driving experience. If you're just trying to go from A to Z, you may not get too excited. But the Mini enthusiasts like customizing their cars. It's like a go-kart on wheels; they're fun, quick-handling cars. They start getting into the personalization" of the car.

Mini Mania