EL CENTRO — With more than 15 years of experience in power sports vehicles, Josh Marquez decided to open up The Off Road Pit. What started off as a small business with one building primarily servicing trucks, has now expanded into something much larger.
On Friday night, Nov. 5, Marquez, his friends and family, and city and business officials took part in a grand-opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony at The Off Road Pit’s sleek new operations at 312 E. Main St. in El Centro.
Marquez said he has expanded offerings to include a wide range of services for people’s off-road lifestyle, with a faster turnaround time for servicing as well.
This business started around the sense of community that seem inherent to off-roaders, Marquez said. He explained that in his prior position as a general sales manager, he felt that the company he worked for did not align with his values, later deciding to make a change.
“In this industry everyone knows everyone. It is a good feeling to know that you’re being taken care of as a family/friend rather than a number,” Marquez said in an interview with the Calexico Chronicle.
“We started this business because we wanted to take care of the community. The customers that come to us know that we take care of them,” he said. “We do not overcharge and (we) provide a good job. We love being a part of this community.”
The Off Road Pit has been fortunate to gain loyalty among new and returning customers. The business continues to contribute to the local off-roading community by providing extra help for events, such as sponsorships.
“Recently, we did the Robert Rosas ride in Campo,” he said referring to the Border Patrol agent from the Imperial Valley who was killed while on duty in the San Diego County mountains.
These rides are raffle events, where they give away sales and services from the shop, and all proceeds collected fund the event. Marquez said he and his staff also go out and ride for the event.
As we begin to see a change in the seasons, lower temperatures allow for a fun time outdoors. Marquez has seen a spike in demand and is prepared to take on more numbers.
“The summers are rough for us, like many others, the summer does not do too well for us because it’s 110 degrees, and no one wants to ride out, but since June we have grown immensely, mainly because of our history. Everyone knows us and we have a good reputation,” he added.
Those who might be new to off-roading are encouraged to come come in and get some information from experts, Marquez said.
“We can show you what it’s like; the off-road world is amazing and very broad, especially since we live in the desert capital.”
The Off Road Pit plans to expand further into social media — they’re on Facebook and Instagram now — and with its recent collaboration with the Imperial Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce (which helped stage the event on Nov. 5), Marquez said The Off Road Pit plans to showcase itself more in the Imperial Valley.