FILLMORE, Utah (April 5, 2002)-Kevin Tracy said he was tired of being tired.
More to the point, he had had enough of being awakened in the middle of the night to go pull stranded motorists out of ditches, or jump their dead batteries or do whatever other emergency roadside task that might have been required of him.
That's why Mr. Tracy, along with partner John Higgins, sold a 24-hour diesel business and towing service and opened a Big O Tires Inc. franchised outlet in Fillmore, Utah, about 150 miles south of Salt Lake City. The 8,000-sq.-ft., six-bay (three drive-through bays) shop was carved out of an old agricultural equipment center, Mr. Tracy said.
The store actually opened late last summer, which turned out to be bad timing: The Sept. 11 disasters and subsequent dip in the economy left business a bit below where Mr. Tracy said he would have liked it. The store does about $20,000 to $35,000 in monthly sales—well short of the $60,000 he said he anticipated.
But that's the price he's paying for now, at least, to have uninterrupted nights of shut-eye, he said.
“You get lots of sleep, but I did make a lot more money (before),” he said of his old business. “I think once people know we're here, people will get pretty good about coming in. It's starting to pick back up.”
Mr. Tracy's retail-only store, which employs four, sells the Big O brand, along with Michelin, BF-Goodrich and Cooper tires.
The dealership also handles lawn mower and ATV tires as well as some American Racing wheels.