Big O Tires changes ownership

Kevin Brooks, left, has sold a string of nine Big O Tires stores in Western Colorado he operated with his wife, Valerie, to Matt Greco, center, and Rob Curry. With the purchase, Greco and Curry now own 26 stores, the largest group in the Big O Tires network. (Business Times photo by Phil Castle)

Kevin Brooks, left, has sold a string of nine Big O Tires stores in Western Colorado he operated with his wife, Valerie, to Matt Greco, center, and Rob Curry. With the purchase, Greco and Curry now own 26 stores, the largest group in the Big O Tires network. (Business Times photo by Phil Castle)

Phil Castle, The Business Times

Equally eager to retire from the tire business and continue serving their customers in Western Colorado, Kevin and Valerie Brooks found what they were looking for in the new owners of their string of Big O Tires stores.

Rob Curry and Matt Greco bring to the venture not only the experience of running what’s now the largest group of stores in the Big O chain, but also the same commitment to employees and customers.

“Their culture similarly matches ours,” Kevin Brooks said. “It was really easy for us to have Rob and Matt be the people who bought our stores. It was just a good fit for us.”

Curry and Greco said the purchase constitutes a good deal for them in acquiring what they said are among the best performing Big O stores in a market with room for growth.

“This is a premier market for Big O,” Greco said. “Kevin and Valerie made it that way.”

Curry and Greco purchased nine Big O Tires stores from the Brooks, including three stores in Grand Junction as well as locations in Basalt, Delta, Frisco, Glenwood Springs, Montrose and Vail. The nine stores employ a total of about 100 people.

Curry and Greco also own 17 Big O locations in Southern California. Their combined 26 stores now constitute the largest group in the Big O Tires network.

The Brooks owned seven Big O Tires stores with Larry Thiesen, but bought out their former partner when he retired. Kevin Brooks worked for six years before that as controller of the operation. The Brooks subsequently opened two more Big O stores with a location in Vail and a third location in Grand Junction.

The couple decided to retire, though, to spend more time enjoying what Kevin Brooks said will be the next phase of their lives together.

Curry said he purchased his first Big O Tires store in 1995 in Cypress, Calif. and  since has expanded what he described as a family owned operation. Greco became a partner three years ago.

Curry said he expects to continue running Big O Tires stores in Western Colorado with the same values as the Brooks. Those values include a commitment to employees, customers and local communities.

With competitive wages and benefits and a training program, Big O offers not only good jobs, but also good careers, he said.

Curry said he also strives to build long-term relationships with customers — who he prefers to call guests — through service and integrity.

It’s not just about selling tires, he said, but other services and repairs that make Big O Tires a convenient one-stop automotive shop. That includes such maintenance as alignments, oil changes and radiator flushes as well as air conditioning services and transmission repairs. “There’s never been a need to go anywhere else.”

While tires still account for about two-thirds of sales, mechanical services account for the other third, Curry said.

The business remains a competitive one. But Curry said he’s not afraid of competition and believes there are opportunities open additional Big O locations in Western Colorado.

“We’re glad to be here,” he said. “We’re looking to be part of the community.”

The Business Times has served as the definitive source for Grand Junction business news since 1994. The journal offers news, views and advice you can use twice each month in print with daily updates online at www.TheBusinessTimes.com
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