GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado - The national economy may still be struggling, but Elk Mountain Motors in West Glenwood has just opened a new showroom, sales center and repair shop for upscale used cars.
An indoor showroom with large windows, modernistic sales desks and a gleaming floor holds four immaculate vehicles, a sampling of the 100 pre-owned cars the dealership has collected for sale.
"We want this to be as pleasant an experience as in new car sales," said Elk Mountain Motors owner Joel Towbin, "whether they are buying a $3,000 car or a $100,000 car."
Elk Mountain Motors holds the Audi and Volkswagen franchises, but Elk Mountain Motors Pre-Owned Outlet Center is also stocking Mercedes Benz, BMW, Lexus, Porsche and Range Rover.
"We're not just an Audi and VW dealer. We are specializing in really nice cars," Towbin said. His focus is on a broad selection of hand-picked, high-quality, fully reconditioned vehicles, along with personal service and reasonable prices.
"If we don't have what people are looking for, we can go find it," said Christopher Hamlin, manager of the Pre-Owned Outlet.
Elk Mountain has been selling used cars all along, and Towbin has been planning the outlet center for years. After moving the Audi and VW dealership to Gilstrap Court in West Glenwood in 2003 from its former location on Sixth Street, Towbin used a double-wide trailer on a gravel lot next door for used car sales.
"I had a plan, but I was waiting for the right time. It turns out that now is a great time to build," he said. Smith Construction of Rifle built the 8,800-square-foot, two-story building on the one-acre lot, which is now paved and landscaped.
In addition to the spacious showroom, the building has private sales offices, parts and accessories sales, a two-bay service facility and a one-bay detailing shop. Customers waiting in a lounge area can look right into the service facility through a glass wall and door to see their vehicle being worked on.
"We will service all makes," Towbin said. And if a vehicle other than an Audi or VW needs a repair covered under warranty, Elk Mountain will arrange for transportation to a dealership certified to do the warranty work.
Along with good timing for construction, the Elk Mountain expansion also benefitted from the closure of Vista Auto Group this spring, scooping up 10 experienced workers to boost the company's total employment to 50 people.
"It was perfect timing. We coordinated our search for new employees through Vista," Towbin said.
The Pre-Owned Outlet opened July 15, and the company is hosting an open house every Thursday, Friday and Saturday through the end of August. They're serving food and beverages, and everyone who takes a test drive is eligible to enter a drawing for an array of tempting prizes.