Whalen Tire is expanding and building a new store in Lockwood, having closed their downtown location.
Whalen Tire actually opened at the Lockwood location six years ago. During the past six years they have been doing business out of two locations – at 2539 Old Hardin Road and at the corner of North 24th Street and First Avenue North.
They have since closed the downtown store and are in the process of selling the property.
Expansion of the Lockwood store includes adding two service bays which will allow them to expand the services they offer to include alignments. They are also expanding the warehouse. Whalen Tire sells numerous brands of tires for almost any kind of vehicle from large semi-trucks and construction equipment to cars, including going into the field to deliver and service their product.
Whalen Tires is a substantially large company with locations in Butte, Helena, Bozeman, Belgrade, Dillon, Great Falls, Missoula and Spokane, as well as Billings. Company-wide they employ some 150 people, including ten at the Lockwood store. The company is owned by Tom Whalen and headquartered in Butte. The company was founded by Tom’s father, the late “Tike” Whalen in Butte in 1964.
The Lockwood store is managed by Kim Christophersen and Jeremy Azure.
According to Christophersen, prompting the decision to move to Lockwood was the realization that going east there are no tire supply businesses. “Once you leave Billings,” he said, “there is no tire service until Miles City or Sheridan, Wyoming. Also, the location has easy access to the interstate highway.
The growth they have experienced over the past six years has proven that it was a good decision.