Gines Auto owner Mark Gines calls it a career after half-century in car businessNov 07, 2023 03:31PM ● By Carl Fauver
A few weeks before calling it a career, Gines Auto Service owner Mark Gines was treated to a going away dessert during a company campout. (Michelle Pursel)
Mark Gines plans to “ride off into the sunset” – literally. He and his wife Marianne own five trail ride horses, and now plan to be aboard them much more often.
“We ride in the desert and sage brush during the winter and up in the mountains in the summer,” Gines said. “When I turned 65 (Aug. 30), I decided it was time to spend more time riding. I’m confident I’m leaving the business in good hands.”
“The business” is Gines Auto Service (4261 W. 5415 South ginesautoservice.com), a Kearns staple since 1978. The “good hands” who will now lease and co-operate the repair shop are Marianne’s brother (Mark’s brother-in-law) Gary Allison and the Gines’ son, Chad. Also in the mix is their daughter Michelle Pursel, who works mostly offsite as the shop’s marketing director.
“My Grandpa Clyde opened Clyde Gines Chevron, at a different location, back in 1960,” Chad Gines said. “Then, in 1978, he helped Dad open this place. It was originally called Gines Phillips 66. That was 45 years ago; and Dad worked several years at Grandpa’s station before that. So, he’s been doing this kind of work for more than 50 years.”
Earlier this year, Chad Gines, Gary Allison, Michelle Pursel and the other Gines Auto Service employees treated Mark Gines to a pair of retirement celebrations. First, they enjoyed a company picnic in the mountains – where employees could ride some of those horses. Then, a few weeks later, Mark was the man of the hour at a going away party at the shop.
“When word was getting around Dad was going to retire, a lot of customers asked us to host a reception so they could say goodbye to him,” Pursel said. “He’s had some customers for a long time. They appreciate the work he’s done for them and wanted to wish him well.”
Back in 1991, Mark Gines’ father Clyde retired from Gines Phillips 66. He’d already gotten out of Clyde Gines Chevron years earlier. That’s when Mark Gines decided to stop selling gas – and changed his shop’s name to Gines Auto Service.
“We had really only continued to pump gas in order to draw more customers in to help them with their car repairs,” Mark Gines said. “But back in the early ‘90s is when they really started cracking down on the standards for underground gasoline tanks. A lot of stations went under. We just decided to focus on repairs and do away with the gas.”
Mark Gines says he has had many quality employees over the years – and he’s always tried to treat them like family.
“Not long after we stopped selling gas, I also decided to close the shop on Saturdays,” Mark Gines added. “I figured, if I can’t make a living working five days a week, I need to find something else to do. Our customers seemed to appreciate our family-first attitude. If anything, the change strengthened our business. And it gave me Saturdays to coach my kids in all kinds of little league sports.”
Gines Auto Service now has nine full and six part-time employees, who each receive a large turkey at Thanksgiving and a ham for Christmas from their employer. Mark Gines has also been very aggressive about getting his employees the training they need to keep up with ever-emerging automobile technology.
“The first computerized cars came on the market in 1981,” Gines said. “I knew we either needed to learn all about them – or get out of the repair business altogether. I’ve been providing training for our employees ever since. Just recently I sent Chad to receive more training to repair electric cars. You have to keep up.”
Well… “you have to keep up,” until you retire. Now those half-century of auto repair headaches are officially behind Mark Gines. Ahead of him – preferably, he would tell you, aboard one of his horses – is his next sunset. λ