Business sense

Clint Wells

Photo By David Robert

Clint Wells is general manager at Reno Vulcanizing Works. He’s worked for the company for 23 years. Reno Vulcanizing has been around since 1920. It’s third-generation family-owned—the Besso family and the Menante family. There are three locations, the oldest of which is at 590 N. Virginia St., and was built in 1955.

You’re right on the edge of those special events. Are you impacted by them?

A little bit, as are a lot of the businesses downtown. The upside to it is the special events are good for the city. The city works with us really well, and most of the event coordinators work with us, and we just make do for the short period of time that they’re here.

What kinds of issues arise?

Well, traffic more than anything. We’re right on the corner of Sixth and Virginia, and Sixth Street is the boundary [of the special events street closures], so we have to get out and help direct traffic so the customers can get in and out of our facility.

So Virginia Street is closed before they get to your place?

Right when they get here, it’s closed.

I intend on bringing my car in to get the rear brakes fixed tomorrow, so I’m anxious to see how easy it is to get there.

Come south on Virginia Street from the freeway, make a left-hand turn on Sixth, and pull right alongside the building. Because the front will be closed, we have to do everything from the side door off of Sixth Street.

Well, that’s handy to know. And what about special-event cleanup?

Well, most of these events have pretty good cleanup crews. There’s very little issue there. What little bit is left over, we can handle and make sure that our business is presentable. But it hasn’t been a real major factor.

I heard about some people throwing bottles into your business.

That happens on a day-to-day basis.

You’re kidding me.

It doesn’t take a special event to do that.

Are there benefits to having the special events?

When the events come to town, it generates income and dollar-flow throughout the city. It trickles down. Some of the events, we get a lot of business off of. We don’t do any motorcycle work, for example, so we don’t get any business off of that, but a lot of these guys will come in with their trailers.

Hot August Nights probably generates some tire sales.

Those are all specialty vehicles, and we’re not really set up to handle those. But we get a little business from all the events. The Air Races, the rodeo—all of them.