BOYCEVILLE — As they say, the three most important things in real estate are location, location and location.
The same could be said for any business venture, particularly a car dealership that depends on high traffic volume and visibility.
West CAP’s (West Central Wisconsin Community Action Agency, Inc.) Ideal Auto and JumpStart program had neither at its former location in Glenwood City.
The dealership was located at 315 Misty Lane, adjacent to the former Curry-Ainsworth American Legion Post 168 building (now West CAP’s Housing and Energy Department). Although it was just two blocks north of State Road 170 and the Glenwood City School District buildings, Ideal Auto was all but invisible to passersby and tire kickers alike.
People just did not see the operation when they went by or tried to find it, noted Ideal Auto and JumpStart program manager Randy Roemhild.
“Last August during Cucumber Festival we applied for a special permit to show our vehicles in Boyceville,” Roemhild stated.
The event went quite well which lead Roemhild and Ideal Auto to stage vehicles at the Boyceville a couple of more times in the lot of the former Spencer Sales building, which was also the long-time Boyceville Bowling alley and Birnstengel’s Equipment.
Then this past spring, Ideal Auto started parking its inventory in the lot for an extended period of time.
Roemhild said the response was wonderful.
“I would have several messages after the weekends from people stating that they saw the vehicles when they drove by and wanted to come take a closer look,” Roemhild said.
That quickly led Roemhild and Idea Auto to make a permanent move from its Glenwood City headquarters to the Boyceville locale at the junction of Highways 170 and 79 South.
“This is just a busy intersection,” noted Roemhild. “Plus it is a corner lot.”
Roemhild said that as state and federal funding to support West CAP’s low income family transportation program – JumpStart – has dried up, the importance of retail car sales has increased dramatically.
Roemhild said that the retail sales is needed to supplement the JumpStart program, now in its 17th year, which assists residents in West CAP’s seven-county service area to obtain safe, reliable, fuel efficient and affordable transportation for low income, working families. It helps in securing low interest, long-term car loans that help build or establish credit scores for the recipients.
WESTconsin Credit Union has teamed with the JumpStart Program as a partner leader for the past 14 years.
Roemhild noted that the additional lot and building space were needed as Ideal Auto has begun supplying a replication project, JumpStart Duluth, with vehicles for that program.
The front portion of building has been remodeled to include new office space, an indoor showroom as well as a detail area. Local contractor Jim Keller of Quality Construction also built new insulated walls and ceiling, installed new carpet, electrical, lighting and ceiling fans.
Ideal Auto specializes in late model, low mileage vehicles that have been fully inspected. Roemhild noted that select vehicles are available to the general public. Doug Hanson of Doug’s Auto Body does a complete 45-point inspection on all of Ideal Auto’s vehicles.
In addition, Ideal Auto also accepts donated vehicles that are drivable and dropped off at its location at 1204 Railroad Ave. in Boyceville. Individuals donating a vehicle can receive a minimum $500 IRS tax donation value all the way up to fair market value if the vehicle is reconditioned and used in the JumpStart Program.
A special open house is being hosted by Ideal Auto this Friday and Saturday, August 21 and 22 during the annual Cucumber Festival. The open house will run from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. both days with coffee and refreshments served. There will also be a registration for a chance to win Cenex gas cards valued at $100, $50 and $25.
All vehicles will be open for inspection and test drives.