• Last modified 702 days ago (June 18, 2020)


First step in retirement is entrepreneurial

Staff writer

JR Ewing has been retired only 10 weeks, but the former St. Luke radiology manager is already looking to move into a new venture: entrepreneurship.

Ewing and friend Bruce Skiles, who is approaching his eventual retirement as an anesthesiologist between local hospitals, recently bought an empty lot in Hillsboro with plans to turn it into a business venture.

“We went ahead and bought it to make sure that if we did make the decision to expand that we’d have it in our back pocket,” Skiles said.

The plans are very early, but one possibility is building a new automatic car wash on the land.

“After we get the numbers, if it costs half a million dollars to put a car wash in, then I don’t know that we’ll pursue it,” Skiles said. “If it’s somewhere south of that and we can provide a nice little car wash, and we feel like we can make some money over the next 5 to 10 years, then that would be a whole different thing.”

Even if it isn’t a car wash, the new business partners know they want to put some type of business there.

“If we don’t put a car wash in there, something else is probably going to go there, either a fast food restaurant or gas station,” he said. “Who knows what? It’s a nice big lot.”

In addition to working the finances, another important issue for Ewing is getting rid of any overgrown weeds, particularly poison ivy.

“It’s green for a reason,” he said. “I just look at the stuff and I break out.”

Ewing said he wouldn’t have thought of going into business with anyone else, and the empty lot on W. D St. next to The Igloo snow cone shack was a good location.

The two like the location because entrances can face east-west if they build a car wash there.

“We want to make sure the openings go where there’s not a big north wind coming in,” Ewing said.

A longtime friend, Skiles felt confident he knew what kind of person Ewing was.

“He’s always been really good with people,” Skiles said. “He’s not lazy and he’s just an all-around good guy.”

Skiles started an automatic car wash in Marion last year but didn’t foresee himself pursuing further ventures at the time.

“At first I really didn’t at all,” he said. “This has turned out to be such a good deal. I found out that, yes, a car wash in a small town can be profitable.”

They also plan to sell Derksen Portable Buildings there.

Last modified June 18, 2020