Used car dealership opens on Ranney

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Stillwater Motors fills a need, the new business' owner and manager said.

The used car dealership opened at the end of February at 458 Ranney St.

"Our goal is to bring a value to the used car industry it doesn't seem to have right now," manager Gary Cole said.

Cole, who previously was the manager of Curve Market in Steamboat Springs, closed his shop, Snow Country Sales, at the Stillwater location Dec. 31.

Part-owner Jim Stoddard, who also owns Empire Express downtown, said the men do not intend to take business from other companies, but instead to fill a niche in the market.

"There's a need for it. Nobody's filling it," Stoddard said. "This looks like a good asset to the community."

The company will sell used cars purchased from wholesalers and consignment vehicles for a percentage of the sale price. Stillwater will offer in-house financing.

The first shipment of cars arrived Wednesday, and the second Thursday. The lot currently has about a dozen cars, but can hold up to 34.

The business also includes a 950-square foot showroom, where cars will be displayed, and a shop. Stillwater will sell car care accessories, and possibly tires in the future.

The men say the business' mission is to have integrity in their sales.

Part of that plan includes selling cars for below book value and being upfront about cars' history and problems.

"Honesty. That pretty much sums it up," Cole said. "It's kind of ironic because that's not a word typically associated with a used car salesman."

Safeway continues Craig store renovations

Renovations at the Craig Safeway, 1295 Victory Way, reflect the company's "lifestyle format" many of its stores are adapting, a spokeswoman said last week.

The renovations include new floors, light fixtures and paint and landscaping updates, said Kris Staaf, director of public affairs for Safeway's Denver division.

She described the store's remodel as a way to foster personalized customer service otherwise expected at specialty shops "all in a warm and inviting shopping atmosphere."

"It feels kind of boutique-like, something I'm not sure you're used to in larger stores," Staaf said.

Construction began at the grocery store in mid-February and is expected to be completed by the end of April. Staaf said the store will likely have a re-grand opening after the renovations are complete.

The upgrades include a full floral department and increased dairy, produce, meat and bakery offerings.

"Just kind of bringing it to a whole new level," Staaf said. "Presenting it in a way that is really warm and exciting that I think is going to get customers really excited."

Staaf declined to comment on speculations that Safeway' renovations are due to Wal-Mart soon building a SuperCenter in Craig.

"You know, we focus on our stores and don't comment on other stores," Staaf said.

She also could not confirm or deny rumors that the Craig Safeway would include a Starbucks coffee shop.

Safeway operates 1,800 stores in the U.S. and Canada, 122 of which are in Colorado.

Staaf said about 50 of the grocery stores have gone to the lifestyle format.

Michelle Perry can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or mperry@craigdailypress.com.

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