North Las Vegas is set to get a new locally owned auto-body-repair operation aimed at competing with the national brands.
Ultimate Collision Repair Centers is expected to open its fourth Southern Nevada location in December at North Fifth Street and Centennial Parkway.
“Our new location in North Las Vegas will be a carbon copy of our existing facility in Summerlin, but the lot size is bigger so we should have more capacity,” said Brad Gothard, a partner in Ultimate Collision.
Gothard expects the operation will be able to repair 200 to 250 cars a month, raising the company’s citywide capacity to between 900 and 1,000 vehicles monthly.
Ultimate is coming to the end of what is always its busiest time of the year — June, July and August — when residents are active in summertime activities and millions of tourists unfamiliar with the roadway terrain flood Southern Nevada streets and highways.
The steady increase in tourism and arrival of new residents spurred Ultimate’s need to expand, Gothard said.
“I’ve been in Las Vegas for 25 years, and I just love the way it’s evolved with big-city growth,” he said at the company’s Summerlin facility.
Gothard has partnered with Wayne Tew, who served as president and CEO of the Clark County Credit Union for 29 years, retiring in 2015. They opened their first Ultimate Collision shop at Rancho Drive and Cheyenne Avenue in 2002.
The company’s valleywide operation has 105 employees. It will add 35 more when the North Las Vegas shop opens.
The partners are investing more than $1.5 million in equipment, and several workers are receiving certification in paint application, structural repair, welding and auto-body repair.
The most expensive machines in the shop are the paint booths because they have to be kept at the optimal temperature of 75 degrees during painting, which means they have to have heating and cooling in addition to proper environmental safeguards.
Gothard said auto repair has become more sophisticated over the years as technology in vehicles has advanced.
“Thirty years ago, most cars had nothing but a seatbelt,” Gothard said. “Today, most average models have airbags, anticollision sonar, backup cameras and lane-divergence technology. All of that has to be recalibrated when a car is brought in for repair.”
He said the average age of a vehicle brought in for repairs is three years.