FEATURE — Tagg-N-Go Express Car Wash owners Quinn Allgood and Conner Atkin walked parallel paths through their childhoods in Southern Utah, each losing their fathers earlier in life than boys ought yet finding a kindred bond that has served them well as entrepreneurs.
The two attended the same high school and Atkin’s grandma lived across the street from Allgood’s family home. Though they knew of each other, it wasn’t until they both started working at a Southern Utah bank that the similarities in their life stories were discovered.
The pair became fast friends and would often talk about their dreams of becoming entrepreneurs. Both their fathers were self-employed, Atkin said, and the boys wanted to emulate their fathers.
Perhaps the most striking similarity for Allgood and Atkin was that both of them had tragically lost their fathers at very young ages.
Atkin was 8 when his father died. His dad was a cattle rancher and was coming home from the Arizona strip when something went wrong with his truck. Atkin said the brakes may have gone out. The resulting crash broke Atkin’s father’s neck and killed him.
Allgood was 14 when his father died. His dad was the owner of the store Allgood Coin. In 2003, he was shot to death during an apparent robbery that made national headlines.
Allgood recalls being pulled out of school at the time and learning he would not get to see his father again.
“Growing up, (my dad) was my role model and my best friend … and it was all ripped out from under me,” Allgood said.
Allgood also lost his mother to breast cancer a few years ago.
Following such tragic events, the boys were forced to grow up quickly, Atkin said. And though the loss of their fathers made significant impacts on their lives, both Allgood and Atkin chose to rise above the tragic nature of their circumstances and use the events as motivation to start their own entrenpreneurial adventure.
“There are so many challenges that happen in life,” Allgood said. “Losing my parents, it’s been devastating, but by the same token I’ve only grown stronger and greater from it.”
In the back of his mind, Allgood thought he might one day take over the family coin business. Allgood had often helped his dad in the store and it held a special place in his heart, he said. But the family sold Allgood Coin to a family friend in 2005. Allgood was only in high school at the time and not old enough to take over.
Similarly, Atkin knew that he wanted to be like his dad, in that he was self-employed, but he knew realistically he probably wouldn’t be going into the ranching business.
While working at the bank, the pair would often discuss different ideas for a business they could do on the side. One day, Allgood’s brother-in-law, a real estate agent, told them about a small self-serve car wash in need of a face lift that was for sale.
After many months Atkin and Allgood were able to secure the financing to purchase and refurbish the car wash.
“About a month after buying it we saw that if you have a good product – because we were improving it – people would come,” Atkin said.
The pair began to dream bigger. Allgood and Atkin purchased a second self-serve car wash and started to learn about the best equipment and how to take care of it. They also began the process of acquiring financing and land to create their own brand of car wash following the express car wash or flex-serve model – In the express car wash model, customers ride through a car wash tunnel on a conveyor belt and choose from a menu with a variety of car wash options.
“It’s like if you buy a car, that specific car you start noticing a lot more,” Allgood said. “It’s the same thing with car washes. We started noticing car washes a lot more.”
Atkin and Allgood liked the express car wash concept and felt that a convenient, quality car wash with free vacuums would be a valuable service in St. George. They were also keen on the idea that they could build their own brand, design their layout and hand pick each piece of equipment.
The first Tagg-N-Go Express Car Wash opened on Sunset Boulevard Jan. 8, 2016. A second location on River Road was opened about a year later, Allgood said. Both locations have three pay lanes, a variety of services and prices, monthly memberships, free vacuums and no awkward tipping situations.
“We really focus on quality and making sure that we have a friendly staff and that everything is up to par,” Allgood said. “We just want to take it to the next level as far as car washes go.”
The model has proved to be successful for the young entrepreneurs who have plans to expand their locations to select sites in Washington County as well as one in Cedar City.
Allgood said their success is a reminder that people can overcome challenges and create something good out of them.
“We are two local boys who wanted to do something different, who wanted to follow our own paths and we’re doing it,” Allgood said.
Both the River Road and Sunset Tagg-N-Go locations are open Monday-Saturday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. A full menu of services and prices can be found on their website.
• S P O N S O R E D C O N T E N T •
- Tagg-N-Go | Address: 1062 W. Sunset Blvd. and 1506 S. River Road, St. George | Hours: Monday-Saturday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. | Telephone: 435-628-2256 | Website | Facebook.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.