Biz Buzz, May 13, 2012

Half of Shane Boyles’ 20 years of automotive experience came from working on Korean vehicles in Grand Junction. In that decade, he was employed as the shop foreman at Grand West Kia and, separately, the service manager at Grand Valley Hyundai.

When he was let go from both jobs in the midst of a thin job market, the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence-certified technician decided to pursue something he’d always wanted: to run his own shop.

So Shane’s K.A.R.S. opened in March at 235 27 1/4 Road, on the south side of U.S. Highway 50, becoming the only shop in the Grand Valley — to Boyles’ knowledge — that specializes in the repair and service of Korean vehicles.

One of his biggest challenges thus far is getting the word out about the business.

“I think I can have more work than I know what to do with,” he said.

Although Shane’s K.A.R.S. specializes in Kias and Hyundais, Boyles and his business partner, Melisa Nielsen, say they will work on most makes and models and welcome fleet accounts. The full-service, four-bay repair shop will perform everything from oil changes to engine rebuilds.

Boyles is the only full-time technician. Nielsen will assist in between classes at Colorado Mesa University.

Shane’s K.A.R.S. is open 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

■ A lot of changes have occurred over the past 20 years for longtime bicycle shop owners Brad and Laura Stewart of Bicycle Outfitters, 431 Colorado Ave. When they were just starting out their bicycle business, the couple squeezed their operation into an 800-square-feet location. Years later, their 2,800-square-foot space on Colorado Avenue again feels tight, Brad Stewart said.

The couple plans to keep their current location as well as open another shop in a new space, 537 N. First St.

Bicycle Outfitters might not permanently keep its Colorado Avenue location, but Stewart said he doesn’t want customers to think the company went out of business.

“We are just so crammed,” Stewart said. “We’ll have more inventory. We’ll rent a lot of bikes.”

The Stewarts purchased the 6,000-square-foot-building, formerly a paint shop, and they plan to refurbish it and open the new store by August.

Stewart said he is thrilled with the amount of vehicle traffic that travels past the First Street location. And, it is encouraging to regularly see bicyclists. Also, the shop will be closer to the Tabeguache Trail system if cyclists want to rent bikes and ride over the Broadway Bridge to the trailhead.

“We’ll be able to offer more rentals,” Stewart said. “I think we could do a lot more (bike) service.”

Abstract & Title Co. of Mesa County Inc. was started in 1907 by O.D. Williams. Four generations and more than a century later, the company has been bought by ET Investments LLC, a holding company based in Aurora.

“It was bittersweet,” said Scott Williams, who owned the company with his brother, Todd, referring to the sale.

Ending his family’s ownership of the business was the bitter part. The sweet, he said, was he could keep his staff and offer them the benefits of a larger company.

Williams, now president of the Mesa County division of Colorado Escrow and Title Services, said Todd, who handled bookkeeping and accounting, also is staying with the new company.

The sale was attractive to both parties because ET Investments was looking to move west, and it had become clear the march of technology was eroding an advantage Abstract & Title enjoyed.

“The market has really changed. There really wasn’t any advantage to being the only independent title company in town anymore,” Williams said.

The new company, meanwhile, is “really technologically motivated,” he said.

The sale was completed as Abstract & Title was moving from Sherwood Plaza to a new office in the Sunplex Building, 605 Road 25, Suite 201, near Patterson Road, where several similar businesses are located.

“So, it’s Title Row now,” Williams said, noting the sale and move, though unrelated, happened in quick succession


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