The self-storage industry doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves for creative and eye-catching facility design, however, locations like affiliate Route 66 Self Storage in Pomona, CA, show what original and imaginative facilities are out there. In this edition’s spotlight, we’d like to take a journey down the famous Route 66.
Route 66 Self Storage in Pomona, CA, is a facility of the U-Haul Self-Storage Affiliate Network, a WebSelfStorage Business Platform user and a U-Haul Neighborhood Dealer. Owned by Bill Fox, the facility has approximately 1,100 units and sits along the historic Route 66, made famous by the likes of Bobby Troup with his hit song “Get Your Kicks on Route 66.”
Here is an interview with owner Fox where he explains how his facility came to be.
U-Haul Affiliate: Please tell us a little bit about your self-storage facility.
Bill Fox: I built the facility in 2003. I live in Claremont and used to drive to my office in San Dimas passing the vacant site every day. As a developer, I also look out for opportunities but this property always stumped me due to the front-to-back slope of around 20’. Retailers don’t want to be below the street and at the time the residential market was flat, so I came up with the idea of storage. I attended a few self-storage tradeshows and hired an architect (AIA), Bruce Jordan, that I met at the show and the rest is history.
U-Haul Affiliate: You have a very unique looking facility, how did you come about the design? What was the inspiration behind the fun theme?
Bill Fox: Our architect wanted to try and pull in a theme to showcase the facility. Our property is located along historic Route 66 so the theme was incorporated into our office design and our signage using neon and an art deco style. The city resisted at first because this did not fit the typical project but they were pleased with the finished product.
U-Haul Affiliate: Do you receive a lot of feedback from customers and your community?
Bill Fox: Yes we constantly have people walk in and think we are a retail store or mistake us for the restaurant next door. Our customers are always trying to buy our gas pumps and other antiques that we have hanging from the ceiling. Every few months we have travelers mostly from other countries show up trying to figure out Route 66. The original road changes names from town to town and sections of the road have been replaced with freeways. We recently had a couple in from Brazil who took pictures with our staff and we gave them a free Route 66 T-shirt as a souvenir.
U-Haul Affiliate: Do you think having a fun theme gives you an advantage in your local storage community?
Bill Fox: I think we stand out amongst the other properties around us that are older and in need of some TLC. So many first time customers give us compliments on the facility which gives us a good feeling that we have created a “fun” environment and not just another storage place.
U-Haul Affiliate: Is there anything you’d like affiliates in the network to know about your facility?
Bill Fox: We are so pleased to be a partner with U-Haul and we are grateful to our area field manager Jeff who keeps the trucks flowing. I resisted Jeff’s offer to become a dealer for 6 to 9 months and through his hard work, we are starting to see more self-storage rentals helping our core business. Thanks Jeff for your persistence and your friendship with the entire staff. We are so pleased with our partnership with U-Haul and look forward to more success as the word gets out in the community.
Owner: Bill Fox
Location: Pomona, California
Size: Approximately 1,100 units
Open Since: 2003