COVID-19 not slowing $1.5 million Thompson Garage expansion in Sparks
SPARKS, Nev. — For many Northern Nevada companies, their blueprints to expand in 2020 have been stowed away — or outright tossed — amid the economy-crushing coronavirus pandemic.
That’s the not the case for one longtime Sparks-based business.
Thompson Garage Doors, which has been serving Northern Nevada for over 60 years, is in the middle of wrapping up a $1.5 million expansion project.
Breaking ground in early December 2019, the undertaking includes construction of a warehouse and the major overhaul and expansion of its current showroom in Sparks.
“It hasn’t slowed down,” owner Kenneth Reyman said of the project in mid-April. “That process has been able to keep moving straight ahead and finish the project, and be able to do it within the government’s guidelines. We’re happy it was in the works, and that it’s getting finished here in the next month.”
Specifically, Thompson Garage Doors is consolidating its showroom at 600 S. Rock Blvd. in Sparks with its primary location at 171 S. 18th St. in Sparks.
The company first staked a flag on Rock Boulevard in 2014 after acquiring Berger Building Supply and started selling entry reentry doors.
After five years of manning two businesses roughly a half-mile a part, Reyman said he was motivated to improve the company’s customer service by showcasing all its products in one spot.
“We realized we had customers coming into our location on 18th looking at reentry doors, or customers looking for garage doors at our Rock location,” Reyman said. “We realized this is not good customer service, so we started looking at ways we could work at one location.”
In response, Reyman said, Thompson Garage Doors purchased an old mobile home park that adjoins its 18th Street property. There, crews have been building a 16,200-square-foot warehouse — with a 3,500-square-foot mezzanine — that will include a millwork shop, a welding and fabrication shop and an expanded storage area that will allow the company to double its inventory.
Expanding its inventory in-house, Reyman said, will drastically cut down on customer wait time.
In addition, the company is remodeling and expanding its showroom to showcase its state-of-the-art garage doors and its inventory of entry and reentry doors previously housed in its Rock Boulevard location.
Sparks-based Reyman Brothers Construction, of which Kenneth Reyman is a principal, is doing the work on the project.
“Now, customers can come to one location and take care of any doors they need to get, replaced or repaired,” said Reyman, who’s owned Thompson Garage Doors since 1989.
Another major benefit, Reyman said, is having his entire team working out of the same location.
“It’s easier to be on the same page in terms of what we’re doing, how we’re taking care of customers, and making sure there are no areas we’re failing in,” he said. “So we’re all looking forward to all being on the same lot — you get more of a team effort when everybody is at the same place looking out for one another.”
When asked, Reyman said there are no immediate plans to hire more employees once the project is finished.
The Thompson Garage owner said the expansion should help increase the company’s business once the Nevada economy opens back up, adding: “A lot of times people will come in looking for a garage door and say, ‘Oh, you guys also do reentry doors?’ and vice-versa.”
To that end, Reyman said he expects the overhaul to result in an immediate increase of 10-15% in revenue. It’s a boost Thompson Garage Doors — which Reyman said generated about $7.5 million in revenue in 2019 — is looking forward to coming out of the COVID-19 crisis, which has slowed down the company’s business across the board.
After all, “people aren’t leaving their garages, their doors aren’t being used, so they don’t need to be repaired by us,” Reyman said. “And it’s slowed down the new sales also in the sense that everybody is uncertain to when this is going to turn around, so they are more reluctant to spend any discretionary money, so it’s definitely impacted us in that sense.”
Throughout the pandemic, Thompson Garage Doors, deemed an essential business, has continued answering emergency calls regarding door repairs, while following CDC safety and sanitation guidelines, according to Reyman.
Once the state shutdown lifts, Reyman said Thompson Garage Doors is looking forward to seeing its customers face-to-face again.
“Before, we were very interacted with the customer because we are a very customer-oriented, friendly company,” he said. “Now, it’s pretty much all mechanical; that interactive that builds relationships is just not there.”
Heather Ashbridge, who started with Nevada State Development Corporation in 2008, previously served in several roles with the organization, including assistant vice president and loan officer. She is based in NSDC’s Reno office.