Marketplace: Cox Tires provides auto repair to Park City area
Kyle Cox started working in mechanics to pay off a debt. He was a teenager in Wyoming with a truck that needed a new engine. He found a mechanic that would give him the engine, but he would have to work at the shop to pay him back.
“Ever since then, I’ve been in mechanics,” he said.
Now, Cox is not only working on cars, but he owns Cox Tire and Auto Service with his wife, Jenna Cox. They opened the business, located at 4032 N. Forestdale Drive in Park City last October. The shop does maintenance and auto repair services.
Kyle Cox has spent several years in the industry, even during a six-year service with the U.S. Marine Corps. He worked as the crew chief, or head mechanic, and was in charge of the mechanics of the Marine One helicopter, which flies the president. He worked during the presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
He said that the experience was unique and taught him the importance of precision.
“I learned how perfect everything needs to be. There is no room for error,” he said.
Cox met his future wife while stationed in California with the Marine Corps. They got married in 2006, and after he left the U.S. Armed Forces in 2011, they found themselves wondering what to do next. He got a job as a diesel mechanic for a few years and she was a stay-at-home mom.
Kyle had been dreaming of owning a business for several years, and the idea became more appealing as time went on.
He was ready to be his own boss and write his schedule. Jenna was prepared to have the flexibility to work and raise kids. After years of sitting on the idea, they finally decided to act on it.
“We knew it was going to be a lot of work, but we knew in the end that there were going to be a lot of rewards,” Kyle said.
They moved to the Heber Valley in 2015 and decided to figure it out from there. They both had good memories of the place, Kyle from driving through the area to visit his grandparents in his youth and Jenna during ski trips to Park City.
Once there, they went back and forth between purchasing a franchise location of an automotive shop and starting one from scratch. Ultimately, they chose the latter.
“We decided that we would feel better about ourselves if we do it and we build it up ourselves,” Jenna said. After a year and a half of looking for a location, they settled on a spot on the northeast side of Park City.
Just as Kyle Cox predicted, it took a lot of work, but mostly patience, to get the business off the ground. They broke ground on the shop last spring.
“It’s a long process, and sometimes it feels like you are spinning your wheels and not getting anywhere,” Jenna said. “But when we finally broke ground, that was the most exciting day. That was when it finally hit us that, ‘We are doing this. We are committed.’”
Since opening, they said that business has been consistent and strong. Kyle has realized that, not only does he love owning a shop because he can fix cars, but it also allows him to contribute to the larger economy. “The rewarding part is providing jobs for my employees and they are providing for their families,” he said.
He said that the reality of opening the business hit him when he started to hire employees. For Jenna, who does the bookkeeping, it was when the first non-family customers started to show up.
“When you finally start getting customers in that heard about you from advertisements or any other means, it’s really exciting,” she said. “It is still really exciting whenever it does get hectic out there. It’s so neat that people are coming into our shop.”
4032 North Forestdale Drive
In May, the long-time owners, Joy and Geir Vik, announced their retirement and passed on the business to the Brian and Dena Merrill, and their son, Dylan, who had been their friends and colleagues for years.
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