HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. -- Bruce Patire said he won't miss the late night phone calls asking for a tow.
"They're broken down but they're good people, so you went. There was an obligation," even if on occasion it interrupted a dinner party or Christmas Eve, Patire said.
"There's no debate I'll miss the people who come in for oil changes (and service). ... I just like the people," Patire said on Wednesday. "The last week is hard. It was a hard decision for me to make."
The doors close today on the Main Street dealership with its front entrance on Church Street, operated by the Patire family for the past 44 years. Before Patire's father, Cruce "Rocky" Patire, and brother Ed purchased the business in
Now, Patire thinks it could make a good factory or mill.
Patire said the building was going on the market for personal health and economic reasons, but the 59-year-old said he would stay in the automotive business, at another dealership in Greenwich.
The last week has brought a flow of customers to say farewell and hear about Patire's plans. "Especially old customers for years and years and years ... (They're) asking, ‘What are we going to do?'"
60-hour work weeks
Despite recent 60-hour work weeks and the loss of his General Motors franchise in 2009, Patire said he was going to miss the family dealership, which he's run exclusively in recent years. With a little more free time, he said he'll focus on his involvement on the Hoosick Town Board, and spend more time with his wife Carol, taking a vacation.
"I haven't done any fly fishing in the past two years," he said.
The business is listed through the commercial arm of Prudential Manor, which recently acquired Tinkham Real Estate. An equipment auction is scheduled in September.
While there are a lot of possibilities, another new car dealership probably isn't one of them. Patire said he "aggressively" sought a new franchise over the past three years, but the town's low population rules out most options.
Patire said the restructuring of the American auto industry in 2009, when more than 1,000 General Motors dealers lost their franchises, took the heart out of many small communities. "I can tell you the worst thing they ever did was allow GM and Chevy to shut down without studying the ripple effects."
"Effectively they took 66 percent of my business away from me," as the dealer used to sell two new vehicles for every used one.
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