Fort Drum Soldiers and Family Members have a convenient new Express where they can fill up on gas, stock up on healthy snacks like fresh fruit and protein bars, get a haircut at the new barbershop or grab a meal. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was conducted July 8 for the grand opening of the Ontario Express, Bldg. 1485, at the intersection of Ontario Avenue and Tigris River Valley Road. (Photos by Mike Strasser, Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs)
AAFES opens Ontario Express store at Fort Drum
Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs
FORT DRUM, N.Y. (July 8, 2019) -- There’s something new on Old Post.
Located in the area of Fort Drum known as Old Post, or South Post, community members have a new place to fill their gas tanks, dine and shop. The Army and Air Force Exchange opened its fifth Express Store here, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on July 8.
“The Exchange’s mission is to make life better for our Soldiers and their Families,” said Pat Hastings, Fort Drum AAFES general manager. “The Ontario Express adds convenience to the Fort Drum community – a new place for shoppers to fuel up their vehicles, grab a meal or a healthy snack and even get a haircut.”
The Ontario Express, located at the intersection of Ontario Avenue and Tigris River Valley Road, features an Arby’s restaurant with a drive-thru, a four-chair barbershop and an eight-pump gas station. Patrons also can pick up a pizza to go from Hunt Brothers Pizza or purchase healthy snacks such as sushi, fresh fruit and salads.
Since it opened nearly two weeks ago, Hastings said the new facility has been doing well, especially with people working at the nearby fire station and at Gas Alley Gate.
“We’re excited to bring this great facility to the Fort Drum community, and so far it has been very well received,” said Rebecca Santee, AAFES eastern region vice president. “I think it has been a successful venture, and we’re very pleased to be able to give it to the Fort Drum community.”
Santee said that it was a collaborative effort, involving many people to see the 12,000-square-foot facility to fruition.
“This is almost an $8 million project, and we couldn’t do it alone,” she said. “A lot of teamwork, from a lot of folks – starting with the Fort Drum community and the Fort Drum garrison command team.”
Col. Kenneth D. Harrison, Fort Drum garrison commander, said that he has fielded more questions about the Ontario Express opening than any other facility in the past two years.
“There has been such excitement about this opening, and everybody is really just thrilled that it is here now,” he said.
When the Bomporto Bridge opened last August – providing a direct route between the main cantonment area and Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield over Route 26 – it also increased traffic on South Post.
“So we know more Soldiers are coming through this area here, and that makes this a perfect location for the Express,” he said.
For more information, visit https://www.shopmyexchange.com/exchange-stores/United%20States/NY/Ft%20Drum/Ft-Drum-1043701.