Business

Car Club Inc. owner comes home to Renton

Renton resident and owner of Car Club Inc., Darren Ryan has moved back to Renton to open a new sales lot on Rainier.

Ryan has fond memories of one of his first jobs, washing vehicles on the Sunset Car lot, as a 13-year-old. Back then, the car dealership owner attended Renton’s Liberty High School and eventually went to Western Washington University. But Ryan returned every summer to Sunset Cars and fell in love with selling cars to the point that he started his career at that lot in Renton after he graduated from college.

These fond memories and the proximity to home has brought Ryan back to the city with a lot of his own. The used car dealer has been trying to locate his Car Club business in the city for eight years and has now done just that.

When an opportunity became available recently, he jumped at the chance to open one of his used-car lots on Rainier at a former Walker’s Renton Subaru used car lot.

“Half of our employees are from Renton and for me it was kind of where I grew up,” said Ryan. “And I know the business and I was just excited to come home.”

Renton is an attractive market for Ryan because he said they have no other competitors for the types of cars he sells. Ryan has two other lots in Burien and Covington and a finance company. He’s owned the Burien location for almost 17 years and the Covington lot for about eight years.

“Honestly, I think there’s good business in Renton,” he said. “There’s a lot of people and there’s nobody that does what we do in Renton and, you know, it’s just home.”

Before he purchased the Renton property, Ryan used to drive through Renton wishing he could open a business in town. He recalled his first job out of college at Sunset, when Dino’s Tavern was open next door. He thought he’d hit the big time, he said, in the car-selling business.

“Renton’s a good, vibrant town,” Ryan said. “I mean you look at our success in Burien. There’s 38,000 people roughly in Burien. There’s 95,000 people roughly in Renton and surrounding. We look at that as a huge opportunity.”

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