Ron’s Tire & Motorsports
1255 N. Holmes Ave.
Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m to 2 p.m. Saturday
For many, a trip to the tire shop might feel like a mundane experience. After all, a long wait in the lobby reading old magazines and counting down the seconds while your car is being serviced can be frustrating.
But in Idaho Falls, an established regional business has introduced a one-stop shop for gear heads in need of service and support for their automotive obsessions, and its business model helps break the mold of the boring old tire shop wait.
Since 1975, Ron Baxter has been operating tire and service centers across eastern Idaho. Starting in Terreton, and eventually expanding into Hamer and Rigby, Ron, along with his brother Ross Baxter, have made a comfortable living, providing tire services to everyone from agricultural workers and truckers to housewives and daily commuters.
But this year, the Baxter brothers ventured out on their most ambitious project yet.
Along with Ron’s son-in-law, Chris Rogers, and Ross’s son, Jackson Baxter, the family-owned Point S Ron’s Tire and Motorsports set up shop in Idaho Falls, making it the fourth location of the family’s business.
Differing from the other stores, the Idaho Falls location is set in an expansive facility at 1255 N. Holmes Ave. in the former home of Smith Chevrolet. After purchasing the property in May, the Baxters spent nearly double their initial investment to renovate the store.
What resulted is a place for tire, motorbike, ATV, lawn and garden equipment, and other various services.
It is a unique model that has been used previously in the Baxter’s Terreton and Rigby stores, but not to the extent that can be seen at the Idaho Falls location.
“This is kind of a big jump for us,” Ron Baxter said. “We had always felt like we needed to get into Idaho Falls, and we were just waiting until we could get the right opportunity to buy a business or building in Idaho Falls and move into that area.”
Featuring what is described as “endless service,” Ron’s Tire and Motorsports offers a wide range of products and services — from bicycles to motorbikes, lawnmowers to chainsaws and tires and equipment services.
“We saw the opportunity for the one-stop shop kind of thing to give people the services they need,” said Chris Rogers, general manager for Ron’s Tire and Motorsports. “(In Terreton), there are a lot of farmers in the area that their business needed someone to service their products and goods. We felt like if you treat someone right with a chainsaw, they’ll come back and buy tires from you, or vice versa.”
After purchasing an Idaho Falls lawn and garden equipment store Pro Power in 2015, and operating it for two years, the family owned business decided to bring everything under one roof for the landmark facility of its group.
“We could see that there was a lot of support there,” Ross Baxter said.
Ron’s Tire and Motorsports opened its Idaho Falls location in August. With added showroom space and service areas, the new location provided an opportunity for the business to continue its lawn and garden sales operations, but also to expand into new ventures.
“We felt like it would give us more opportunities to do different things,” Ron Baxter said. “It fits our type of business very well.”
The business’ diversification of inventory is a critical component to its continued success, Rodgers said.
“We had to do something that maintains things throughout the year,” he said. “We couldn’t just do things that were profitable in the summer and go in the hole during the winter. It didn’t make sense to us.”
Offering year-round products and services also provides an added benefit to the employees.
“We have over 70 employees, and we couldn’t lay off our employees,” Rogers said. “We feel like the business is based off the employees and they work for us. They’re as big a part of the business as I am.”
Support for the Idaho Falls store has been steady, Rogers said, and customer satisfaction has been consistently high for the new location.
Dakota Roberson of Shelley recently purchased a new motocross bike from Ron’s Tire and Motorsports and was pleased with his experience.
“As an avid motocross racer, my recent relocation to Idaho has compelled me to seek out a new motorcycle dealership,” he said. “For me, it’s important to relate to the salesmen through a shared love of the sport.
“My wife and I have been treated exceptionally well from the minute we walked into the dealership.”
The support from the Idaho Falls community is a key component to the success of Ron’s Tire and Motorsports new venture, and, based off of the first four months of operation and customer satisfaction, Ross Baxter is not concerned about continuing this positive trend into the future.
“Idaho Falls has grown, and we need it to grow more,” he said. “They have been really good to us, and it’s worked. And it’s not totally because of us. We rely on the community, and they have supported us. That’s the only reason we’re here, and, hopefully, we show that back to our communities.”
Reporter Marc Basham can be reached at 208-542-6763.