A new 130,000 square foot American Eagle distribution center is now open just south of Fort Collins. Located off I-25 in Loveland, the new facility is the second American Eagle Distribution facility of Colorado, and contributes to 13 other distribution companies of Anheuser-Busch.
“It’s a beautiful facility, they do a lot more than I expected,” said Les Race, a dean at Ames College and a member of the Fort Collins and Loveland Chamber of Commerce. “It’s deceptive – from the interstate you have no idea it’s this big.”
The distribution center offers beer, community service and history to Northern Colorado, said Jerry Helgeson, president of American Eagle Distribution Company.
“It will be so good for Northern Colorado and South Wyoming,” Helgeson said.
In addition to the new distribution center, American Eagle is the primary sponsor of the new Budweiser Events Center. The center is scheduled to open fall 2003, according to the Larimer County Web site.
The arena will host concerts, basketball games, hockey games and motorcross events. A new minor league hockey team from the Central Hockey League is scheduled to start play in the arena when it opens next fall.
“(The arena) lets the family participate in events that they normally can’t,” Helgeson said.
Along with the new event center, the distribution facility will offer a place the city of Loveland and Greeley can use for promotions events free of charge.
The grand opening of the distribution facility on Saturday brought people from throughout Colorado and various other states. Food and information were offered in the banquet room, while tours were given through the facility approximately every 15 minutes.
Tours through the facility allowed spectators to walk the grounds of the new building and learn about personnel training, packaging and repackaging, sales, servicing, storage and delivery.
Tour guides take groups of people through offices, refrigerated storage rooms, truck garages and provide an opportunity to view the famous Clydesdale horses that are a staple of Anheuser-Busch.
“The most interesting thing (at the center) was the numbers of cases of beer they can store,” said Sandy Race, Les’s wife.
The 130,000 square-foot building houses 100 employees, storing up to 650,000 cases, 8,650 half-barrels, with 850 cases delivered daily, distributing more than three million cases annually. Bring a jacket because the beer is kept at a constant 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
The distribution rights for Anheuser-Busch were originally acquired in 1980 and the original facility was completed in 1981 in Fort Morgan. Today American Eagle Distribution Company is one of the largest independently owned Anheuser-Busch wholesalers in Colorado.
According to information given by tour guides, Anheuser-Busch is the world’s largest brewer, making one out of every two beers purchased.
-Edited by Vince Blaser and Ben Koerselman