Ronnie Barton only stepped into the ownership position at Big 8 Tire in November of last year but he is already striving to offer a better auto repair experience. He said his goal is to turn Big 8 Tire into the first “modern” tire shop in Ely.
He has gone so far as to rearrange the lobby area and desk work space for the employees to offer a more comfortable environment for customers to sit and wait or to get paperwork done more efficiently. It’s a small start, but according to Barton, that is just the first step.
“That’s something that Ely doesn’t currently have. I want to modernize things and also expand our services that we offer to include window tinting and stereo installation,” Barton said.
Those might seem like ambitious goals for a new owner but Barton actually started running things closer to a year and a half ago.
“I was already the manager here for over a year, doing basically what I do now,” he continued.
But when Barton was handed over the reigns of the tire and auto body repair shop, he began to think about ways to increase business. He started with the price of the store’s namesake, tires.
“When I first took over I lowered the prices of all our tires to make things more affordable. I was one of those people that lived paycheck to paycheck and always hated that when I got paid it was already gone, so by lowering the prices and introducing online price-matching, I hope that will help people that are living like I was,” Barton said.
Another less tangible benefit that Barton notes in lowering prices to to keep money within the community. Barton said that he has already matched or beat prices customers have found online because he would rather offer them a convenient in town option than having them have to leave town or spend their money with a bigger company online.
“I have a kid that grows up in this community and I’d rather see peoples’ money spent here where he is growing up than see it outsourced to somewhere else,” he said.
According to Barton, now is the best time to buy one of the store’s hottest winter items, snow tires. Though the snow has been infrequent over the past few weeks, he notes that locals know how quickly the roads can go from black to white.
“Snow tires are always a good idea this time of year and right now they are actually on sale so it is a good time to get some. They can make a big difference in the way the car grips the road when they begin to get covered in snow or ice,” Barton said.
And though the name might imply that Big 8 is only about the tires, barton said that they actually offer a range of auto repair and maintenance options. From oil changes to brakes and shocks, Barton said that he is determined to make Big 8 the best place in town to get work done on a vehicle.
Big 8 Tire is located at 1820 Aultman St. For more information on services and sales, call 775-289-6777.