New Country Auto scores second location

South Broadway construction prompts dealership to move east

Construction along South Broadway spurred New Country Auto to move its sales operation just east of Cortez on Highway 160. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Construction along South Broadway spurred New Country Auto to move its sales operation just east of Cortez on Highway 160.

New Country Auto Center has temporarily transferred some of its sales operation to the eastern part of Cortez at 27762 Highway 160 while their immediate location still remains at 333 S. Broadway.

The move occurred because of the construction project on South Broadway that began this summer.

Nancy Ariano, owner of New Country, said the road construction restricted easy access to their vehicle lot and made it difficult for shoppers and employees to get to the building.

“The project was delayed a couple of months,” Ariano said. “And it was supposed to be a six-month project. With the delay it has ended up being longer.”

Ariano said the construction blocked the entrance to their main location and there was no other way in except through the private drive off of Sikis Village Mobile Home Park which prevented customers from test driving vehicles.

New Country’s business manager, Houston Frizzell, explained that construction has been slated to continue through December but he anticipates a few more hang-ups along the way.

“It’s possible, if they run into any problems, construction could run into the spring of next year,” Frizzell said.

Along with inaccessibility, the display vehicles, parked near the dangers of a construction site, were a liability.

“The highway is close to our display lots which hold millions of dollars in new vehicles,” Ariano said. “The debris, rocks and everything else that would be thrown around could cause lots of damage,”

The Highway 160 location was opened in July and Ariano feels good about the business occurring.

“We’ve really ended up liking the business on this side of town. It brings a new energy,” Ariano said.

Frizzell agreed, saying new clientele were being drawn in from Dolores, Mancos and even Durango simply because their location is centralized along Highway 160.

“We have people driving in from these areas stopping by because they saw something they liked or just to see what’s going on with the move,” he said.

Frizzell said they have had new sales on the lot and new faces behind those sales. The inventory is relatively the same but he hopes they may bring in more used cars for more variety. The majority of vehicles, however, will still remain Chrylser, Dodge and Jeep.

Ariano doesn’t think the move is permanent but she feels the welcoming of the business to the eastern edge of town has been positive.

“I couldn’t say if it is permanent but it’s working well,” Ariano said. “We will see what happens in the future.”