84°F
weather icon Clear

Al’s General Auto Repair on cusp of 20th anniversary

Despite massive growth in the area and the arrival of big name stores, Al’s General Auto Repair has handled that and weathered various storms and will be celebrating a milestone anniversary next week.

Al’s, a full-service automotive repair shop, will usher in the company’s 20th year in business next week with a get-together at the popular local auto shop.

“It’s a major accomplishment,” Sheryl Huffman, daughter of Keen. “We’re a small business; my mom and dad opened it Dec.1,1995, and there was hardly any people living in Pahrump then.”

Huffman, who’s been involved with the family business for the past 15 years, said staying in business through that two-decade stretch has been a struggle at times, having to deal with the ups and downs of a growing town.

The biggest obstacle of all that the shop had to overcome took place a year-and-a-half ago when Al Keen passed away.

“Ever since my dad passed away my mom has been running the shop,” Huffman said. “He bid the jobs, did a lot of work, he was a real key player for us.”

The death of Al Keen took its toll on everyone at the shop, so to aid the grieving process, the team got together and touched up the shop.

“We remodeled the front lobby as a dedication wall to him,” Huffman said. “So we just did the tribute wall and that kind of helped us all to cope with it.”

Huffman recalled her dad’s love for drag racing and mentioned the success he enjoyed with her brother Don Keen.

“Dad loved drag racing with my brother, Don, and my son, Jeff,” she said. “Together they were able to run in the NHRA Stock and Super Stock classes with a tremendous amount of success. In 1990 Al and Don Keen won the World Championship in the Stock Class and Al won “Wrench of the Year.”

In addition to the untimely passing of her father, Huffman explained that the arrival of big name stores like Walmart also put a damper on business.

“That hurt us as far as oil changes and tires,” she said. “They can carry a lot more tires than we could and they have a variety of oil changes. People could go shopping and they could get their oil changes and go shopping so they wouldn’t have to go anywhere else.”

Huffman said that the business plans to expand their tire inventory and add exterior lighting so their building is well lit to help draw customers who might be passing by and not know they are there.

“Because we’re on the outskirts of town, a lot of people don’t even know we’re here amazingly,” Huffman said. “We’ve talked to several people who’ve never even heard of us. So that kind makes me alarmed. So I’d like to get the word out that we’re here.”

Despite that, Huffman said having a core group of customers that trust their work and keep coming back for their automotive needs helped them survive the last 20 years.

“We want to say a big thank you to our loyal customers,” she said. “We have a lot of repeat customers that don’t go to the other places and without them we wouldn’t have made it.”

To thank those customers, Al’s General Auto Repair, located at 867 S. Linda Street will offer a full-service oil change for $16.95 on Dec.1, which she said is cheaper than they charged 20 years ago. In addition, there will be cake and coffee served in the shop’s lobby for all to enjoy, prize giveaways and other special labor rates all day long.

Contact reporter Mick Akers at makers@pvtimes.com. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

 

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
IN SEASON: The time is now to plan your fall and winter annual vegetable garden

It may seem too early to be thinking about our fall and winter garden while we are in the thick of brutal summer temperatures, but cooler weather is just around the corner. By starting seeds indoors now, you can give yourself a head start on the fall and winter garden season.

CHUCK BAKER: Land, Land, but not an inch to spare

“Don’t Fence Me In” was a popular song in the 1940s. Some might say it could be today’s theme song for Nellis AFB. Between all the land held in Nevada by the local air base and the Bureau of Land Management, it appears that control over boundaries and borders will be with Silver State entities for quite some time. And not just in the south.

IN SEASON: Okra, a southern favorite for your western garden

Okra may be considered a staple crop in the American South, but it also grows very well in our hot dry climate. As a member of the mallow family, it puts on a stunning display of delicate yellow flowers.

Nevada celebrates Buffalo Soldiers Day for second year

The Second Annual Buffalo Soldiers Day in Nevada was celebrated Tuesday at an event hosted by the Nevada Department of Veterans Services honoring Nevada’s African-American veterans and the legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers.

Pahrump fall baseball meeting set for Aug. 4

There will be a mandatory fall club baseball meeting for 16-and-under and 18-and-under teams at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4 at Ian Deutch Field No. 1.

Musial is top winner at Pahrump Valley Tournament Bowling Club event

Charity Musial captured Division A of the Certified “Whoops” Singles, the Handicap Side Pot and the Scratch Side Pot, pocketing $125 to leave as the big winner at the Pahrump Valley Tournament Bowling Club’s July 25 event at the Pahrump Nugget Bowling Center.

Swain wins Shade Tree Open, teams with Jacobs at Firecracker in Pahrump

Bob Swain of Bullhead City, Arizona used an overwhelming edge in ringers to overcome a 54-point differential and go undefeated in Class A to win the Shade Tree Open horseshoes tournament on July 18 at Petrack Park in Pahrump.