Open for Business: Longtime auto dealer Cook Chevrolet sees expansion over many years in Craig
Growing up around cars and learning about the car dealership business, Scott Cook, owner of Cook Chevrolet, wasn’t always sure if he wanted to continue the family business when he was a young man, but inevitably discovered that he loved it.
“The car business is fun. You get to interact with cars and people, and that’s just a lot of fun,” Scott said.
When Scott was a toddler, his father, Larry, worked for General Motors, and the family moved all over the country with different assignment and jobs.
Eventually, the Cooks found themselves settling down in Craig in 1962 when Scott was just starting kindergarten.
“He grew up on the east coast and always wanted to live in Colorado,” Scott said about his father.
It was when they finally settled in Craig that Cook’s father made the decision to open up a car dealership in Craig by beginning a business partnership with local Floyd Reed.
The business was originally called Reed Chevrolet. Over time, Larry Cook gradually bought out Reed, switching the name over to Cook Chevrolet.
After graduating high school, Scott moved to Fort Collins to attend Colorado State University, and wasn’t sure if he wanted to come back to Craig to join in the business with his father, yet in 1979, Scott came back to start working at the dealership.
“I wasn’t sure that I wanted to live in small-town America, but it kind of grew on me,” he said.
As the years went on, Scott eventually bought out his father and took over ownership of the business.
From there, he has started working on expanding the dealership, such as bringing in Subaru vehicles and later setting up shop with a Steamboat Springs location in the 1990s. He also acquired the former Craig Ford about five years ago.
Scott noted that owning and running a dealership comes with its fair share of obstacles and complications. In a dealership there are several departments at work that need to function cohesively with one another, including sales, financing, vehicles services, accounting, and warranties.
“We’ve been fortunate over the years. We’ve had great employees and great customers,” he said. “It takes both of those to survive this long as a business.”
As a business owner in Craig for several decades, Scott offers advice for those looking to open up their own business.
“They need to love the business they’re in, and they need to understand that business, but most of all they need to be willing to work hard. The other two don’t matter as much if you’re not willing to work hard,” he said.