O’Reilly Auto Parts drives into Steamboat Springs market

O'Reilly Auto Parts plans to open a store in Central Park Plaza in Steamboat Springs.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Springs Pilot & Today.

The former Sears Hometown location in Steamboat Springs will now house a national auto parts chain.

O’Reilly Auto Parts spokesperson Mark Merz has confirmed that the company will open a new retail location in Steamboat Springs and should be open in the summer of 2022.

“This summer is our goal at this point, assuming we don’t have any type of issue with construction or permitting or anything else,” Merz said. “We are looking forward to getting it open, but it’s a process. … We would hope to have that location open sometime this year; tentatively, we are looking at the mid-part of the year right now. But, you know, sometimes there’s unexpected delays with construction that could push that back.”

The auto parts chain has locations in 47 states and has 5,700 stores across the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. The chain also has 20 stores in Mexico.

The Steamboat store will take over the spot where Sears Hometown Store was located. That business, which had enjoyed a 46-year run in Steamboat, moved to Laramie, Wyoming, in April of 2021.

“We believe that we’re absolutely different than every other auto parts store that exists out there,” Merz said.

He said the company takes pride in hiring good people and having the inventory that customers want.

“It’s really two things. It’s team members that have fantastic customer service skills and inventory availability,” Merz said. “We’re known as a company (that) will not say no, so if you come in and you’re looking for something, we’ll turn over every rock to help you — not only figure out what’s wrong with your vehicle — but also find the part for it.

Merz said typical new stores will be looking in the neighborhood of 10 to 12 new team members. He said the company is always looking for new recruits.

“The most important thing for us is finding that that individual wants to take care of people, to help people get their vehicle fixed and their life back in order,” Merz said. “So that’s what we’re looking for. We will give them the training and tools they need to be successful at their job, but first and foremost, it takes somebody who just likes to take care of people.”

O’Reilly Auto Parts has just over 110 stores in Colorado, including stores in Kremmling and Craig.

“We’re a customer service company that just happens to sell auto parts,” Merz said. “So the same great service and inventory that you can find in any of our stores will be available at the one in Steamboat Springs.”

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