Jay Taylor to leave Castle Peak Automotive | VailDaily.com

Jay Taylor to leave Castle Peak Automotive

Kathy Heicher
Special to the Daily/Kathy HeicherJay Taylor of Castle Peak Automotive is contemplating life after car repair.

GYPSUM – In Eagle and Gypsum the words “Jay Taylor” and “auto mechanic” have been synonymous for over 20 years. Those words continue to ring true, but Taylor’s situation is changing.After a couple of decades of diagnosing and correcting car troubles for hundreds of grateful locals, Taylor is stepping away from his work as a vehicle-repair shop operator. He’s spent the last six years as head of the Castle Peak Automotive shop in the Airport Gateway Commercial Park in Gypsum. Prior to that job, he was the owner-operator of the American Eagle Tire and Auto shop in Eagle, a business half the size of Castle Peak Automotive.But after years of work – weeks that more often than not ran 60 hours to 70 hours – he’s ready for a change. He’s not sure just what he’ll do yet, he says, other than catch up on a long “to do” list and keep himself open for new opportunities.

“It’s been an awful good run. I’ve enjoyed the people and the customers,” says Taylor, adding that there’s also been a lot of “hours, work and stress.”He’s hopped in more cars than he can count, taking a drive with the owners to listen for that peculiar tick or unwanted metallic sound. Taylor says he’s always had a knack for diagnosing and fixing mechanical problems. “That’s the easiest part for me – fixing cars,” says Taylor, who admits with a smile that the personnel issues, paperwork, and regulations aspects of running a business are “not as much fun as it seems.”Throughout his stint as a valley businessman, Taylor has always supported local programs. He’s sponsored teams of various sorts for the local recreation district and he’s got a wall full of ribbons and photographs of the 4-H kids and animals he’s supported.

He’s employed more local high school kids than he can count. One of his long-term mechanics, Les Ware, came to Taylor’s shop out of high school, and has stayed for 16 years.As word gets around about him leaving, Taylor says he’s been touched by the number of people who have stopped in to say that they’ll miss him. “It makes me feel good,” he says, noting that he has watched some of his clients grow up. He’s had some memorable co-workers over the years, including his dad, Floyd Taylor, “Big” Ed Secrist, Grant Hollis, Guy Maxwell and Les Ware. He can’t give a definite answer to the friends and clients who are asking him what his future plans are. He and his wife, Linda, intend to stay in the community. Taylor would like to put his teaching degree to use, educating future mechanics, or teaching people how to be good consumers when making decisions about their vehicles, he says.

Although he will miss his customers, Taylor says he’s looking forward to stepping away from the constraints of running a business. He’s guessing it will feel great to take two-week vacations, and have time to catch up on the yard work. He’ll wait and see what the future brings to him, he says. “I just want to thank everybody for their support over the years. I appreciate this valley, and the customers. I’ve been blessed to be involved,” Taylor says.Vail, Colorado

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