From wanderlust to enterprise, Slick Willey’s brings a better brand of oil man

Slick Willey’s Lube, St. George, Utah, Feb. 3, 2014 | Photo By Rhonda Tommer, St. George News
Clint Larsen, owner and operator of Slick Willey’s Lube & Oil in St. George and Hurricane, Utah. Undated | Photo courtesy of Clint Larsen, Slick Willey's, St. George News
Clint Larsen, owner and operator of Slick Willey’s Lube & Oil in St. George and Hurricane, Utah. Undated | Photo courtesy of Clint Larsen, Slick Willey’s, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Clint Larsen, owner and operator of Slick Willey’s Lube, could not foresee at the time that dismantling his radio-controlled cars at age 6 would lead him to a career in servicing and caring for the cars of others. Later, when wanderlust for the young man proved too isolating, Larsen was yet to see that his instincts for relationships would serve customers well when he built his own business. But his talents converged and a new oil and lube shop emerged in Dixie, first on Sunset Boulevard in St. George, and later on State Street in Hurricane.

Larsen’s ability to take things apart and fix them became evident during the auto shop classes he took in high school. “I had a 1976 Ford Bronco that was a weekly fixer,” Larsen said. “I’ve always been mechanically inclined.”

After graduating high school, attending college for a spell and getting the itch to travel, Larsen left St. George and ultimately made it to Colorado and explored the life of a traveler.

But before he left St. George, Larsen met the woman who would later become his wife.

Once in Colorado, Larsen explored and then found himself reconsidering his dreams; before long, he decided that the solitary reality didn’t live up to the fantasy of being a world traveler and he returned to St. George.

Slick Willey’s on Sunset Boulevard has two service bays for quick slick service, St. George, Utah, Feb. 3, 2014 | Photo by Rhonda Tommer, St. George News
Slick Willey’s on Sunset Boulevard has two service bays for quick slick service, St. George, Utah, Feb. 3, 2014 | Photo by Rhonda Tommer, St. George News

As he began to settle back into Dixie, Larsen saw a business opportunity for himself in an oil and lube shop his father had acquired while he was gone. His dad was trying to run the shop remotely from Sandy and the business was struggling.

Father and son explored options until Larsen was given the opportunity to take it over. Larsen jumped at the chance. He was able to live in the same town his girlfriend lived and enjoy the challenge of making something of a struggling business with fresh zeal and ideas for its success. And his father was relieved of the challenges of trying to run a business from a distance. It was a win-win situation.

Top of the to-do list for building his business was a name. When Larsen mentioned his business plan to a friend, “Slick Willey’s” just rolled off his friend’s tongue. He liked it, it stuck, and so it was that in 2003 Slick Willey’s Lube came into being on Sunset Boulevard with a storefront that presents as much classic charm as many of the cars he now nurtures.

Employee Dillon Gallegos helps a customer at Slick Willey’s on Sunset Boulevard, St. George, Utah, Feb. 3, 2014 | Photo by Rhonda Tommer, St. George News
Employee Dillon Gallegos helps a customer at Slick Willey’s on Sunset Boulevard, St. George, Utah, Feb. 3, 2014 | Photo by Rhonda Tommer, St. George News

One of the first things Larsen recognized was that bringing a new and engaging approach to his employees would translate to better car care and continuing relationships with customers that his predecessor hadn’t appreciated.

Larsen didn’t want to operate a quick lube that saw customers as a mere oil change and opportunity to sell products. He envisioned relationships in which he could be a total car maintenance shop, working with customers over the life of their car and within their means.

“It’s kind of a no-brainer to me. People just want to be treated right,” Larsen said.

His goal is to let customers know a car’s needs with suggested services based on manufacturer recommendations, without a sales pitch, without making people say “no” three times, and leave it to the customer to decide if and when they want a service performed.

Larsen credits his dad for a lot of his success in the business.

“My dad is a good businessman and a good source of advice and inspiration for me,” Larsen said. “I do work closely with him on a lot of major decisions, and I don’t think I would have been as successful this far without him.”

BG_color_logo (1)
BG Logo | Image courtesy of Slick Willey’s

Slick Willey’s is not a franchise and offers more than a typical lube shop. Not only does Larsen boast a higher standard and a wider array of services, he is dedicated to using high quality products, Castrol oils and BG products, unlike some lube shops that use bulk oil of a lower quality.

“Most people think oil is oil. But the truth is there’s a huge difference in quality,” Larsen said. “And Castrol has the test results to prove it.”

Castrol Oil | Logo courtesy of Sick Willey's
Castrol Oil | Image courtesy of Sick Willey’s

Since Slick Willey’s started in 2003 the business has grown a reputation of being competitively priced, honest with its customers and the provider of high quality products and services.

And the business has grown to add a location in Hurricane and build a reputation for competitive pricing, honesty and quality service and products.

Larsen has grown, too. For one thing, that girl that might have had something to do with him forsaking the solitary life of a traveler is now his wife. Together they have 5-year-old twins.

“The real story is, not that dad gave me a lube shop,” Larsen said, “but he gave me an opportunity and a challenge. It wasn’t one of those situations that I was given a successful business – it’s been a long road, and a long learning curve to get where it’s at now.”

Use QR scanner to download Slick Willey's current deals
Use QR scanner to download Slick Willey’s current deals

Slick Willey’s offers

  • 
a full service oil change with a 20-point inspection including checking and topping off fluids and the checking tire pressure, with Larsen’s own “call and repeat system,” allowing the customer to hear the employees check double check that no point is missed.
  • fluid analysis, along with manufacturer recommendations, to help evaluate the condition of the fluids. Customers get to see a sample of the fluids during each visit, and watch them turn from good to bad over time, allowing the customer to decide when certain fluid changes are desired.
  • complete maintenance shop with a large menu of services, including state vehicle inspections, air conditioner service, and minor mechanical repairs.

Resources

  • Slick Willey’s Lube in St. George: Website | Facebook
    • Address: 1744 W. Sunset Blvd., St. George, Utah | Telephone: 435-656-9000
    • Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Slick Willey’s Lube in Hurricane: Website | Facebook
    • Address: 987 W. State Street, Hurricane, Utah | Telephone: 435-656-5002
    • Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Slick Willey’s also offers instant coupons by texting “slick” to 78758, or scan this QR code

A D V E R T O R I A L

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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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15 Comments

  • Bub March 10, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    what i like about quickie lubes is that the extent that they can screw up your car is much less than that of a full-blown auto shop. I’ve still had places screw up oil changes in the past though, so even that isn’t idiot proof.

    • Bender March 11, 2014 at 12:39 am

      Speaking of screw ups, You’ll want to stay away from the Big O Tires next door to the sunset slick willys.

      • Bub March 11, 2014 at 1:49 pm

        too late, i had to learn that one the hard way…

  • Interesting March 10, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    Your article claims they have been in business since 2003. But I distinctly remember taking a coworker there to pick up his car back in 1997. It is cast in stone as to the year, because he left this earth later that same year.
    NOTE: I have no feeling one way or the other about this business, just about the timing claimed in the article.

    • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic March 11, 2014 at 6:17 am

      That was a predecessor business, Interesting. When Clint Larsen took it over he developed a new owner-operated business, Slick Willey’s, distinct from the prior franchise.
      I hope that helps,
      ST. GEORGE NEWS | STGnews.com
      Joyce Kuzmanic
      Editor in Chief

      • Interesting March 11, 2014 at 12:02 pm

        OK, thanks for clearing that up, Joyce. So the article says this is not a franchise, but you are saying the previous owner was a franchise? How does that work?
        To reiterate, I have no feeling one way or the other about this business, I’m just curious.

        • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic March 11, 2014 at 2:21 pm

          Simple answer – there were predecessor businesses at the same address. But this story is about Mr. Larsen, who came in and started his own distinct business. It is not a franchise. Think of it this way, Interesting – don’t you see locations where businesses change from time to time? In the case of Slick Willey’s, Larsen’s is an owner-operated local business and is not to be confused with any predecessor franchise that may have been located at the same address.
          I hope that helps, go visit them!

          • Interesting March 11, 2014 at 2:37 pm

            Thank you Joyce!

  • Steve March 10, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    I manged quick lubes in California for years. I am extremely picky about where I take my vehicles . I can tell you that I have been to slick willieys on sunset several times , and they have always done a great job. There are other places that might try to scam you into services you don’t need, but this place isn’t one of them.

  • JOSH DALTON March 11, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    It is not a scam. The recommendations are based on mileage. Its not the shops fault some of you buy vehicles and can’t afford to maintain them. So when your hit with a huge charge after getting a FREE diag you should man or woman up and get the work done. I work at at shop as a service advisor. I deal with your above complaints on a daily bases. Its the operators fault not the shop. Its bad business to scew someones car up. We really don’t want to see “comebacks” It also boils down to you get what you pay for. If you shop around for the cheapest price you will get a cheap return. GO FALCONS!

    • Bub March 11, 2014 at 1:54 pm

      A lot of them are very dishonest.

    • Steve March 11, 2014 at 6:21 pm

      Josh, like i said, I worked at ez lube and jiffy Lube in California for over 7 years . There are some things that should be done at a certain mileage, and then there are things that do not need to be done but are told need to be done in order to make their commission. Trust me josh, I cannot be fooled. Ez Lube had a class action Lawsuit filed against them years ago and ultimately went bankrupt. One of the new stations had hidden video cameras at several locations and all of them were caught lying to the customer. I finally quit after the regional manager told me to put blue toilet bowl cleaner in the washer fluid container tank make it look like washer fluid. I could go on and on. Sounds like you are irritated with your job listening to “complaints” every day. My guess is that you are on commission as well. Maybe it is time to find another job where you don’t have to deal with the public.

      • Bub March 11, 2014 at 8:18 pm

        Maybe if we lowered the minimum wage to $2 they could hire more skilled and honest staff…

  • Bender March 11, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    Be aware that modern engines have manufacturer specified oil change intervals that sometimes exceed 10,000 miles. Many independent oil change shops continue to recommend 3,000 miles. Check your owners manual or call your dealer to be sure. Don’t waste money on unnecessary oil changes.
    .
    I have my cars inspected at Slick Willys and have been treated well there.

  • DoubleTap March 12, 2014 at 8:35 am

    You all need to remember that the Slick Willey’s in this article is NOT the same “Slick Willey” of a few years ago in Washington D.C. who was a FWB of a Monica.
    This Slick Willey’s is a legitimate business who is above board and honest. This Slick Willey will NOT try to “screw” you.

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