A Kingman fixture changes hands

The sign in front of Leroy’s Ace Hardware on Friday expresses gratitude to loyal customers as the store passes on to new owners.<br> JC AMBERLYN/Miner

The sign in front of Leroy’s Ace Hardware on Friday expresses gratitude to loyal customers as the store passes on to new owners.<br> JC AMBERLYN/Miner

KINGMAN - After 35 years in operation, a fixture of Kingman's business community has changed hands. Leroy's Ace Hardware at 4550 Stockton Hill Road has been purchased by Tri State Ace Home Center, a hardware business based out of Bullhead City.

Leroy Butler, the longtime proprietor of his eponymous store, said the he made the sale last week. His decision to sell came after careful consideration of how his son, Leroy Butler II, would manage the store in his father's stead.

"I have a son that's a quadriplegic, and it's too big for him to manage when I leave," the elder Butler said. "To run a store that fast, he just can't do it. To give the best service, you've got to be on top of everything all the time."

Butler said he believed Kingman would be more than satisfied with his hardware store's new stewards.

"We've known each other for a hundred years," he said. "They have big plans for the store. They're going to expand the inventory and do a lot of good for Kingman."

This isn't the end of the Butler dynasty, however. Butler said he plans to open a smaller garment printing and embroidery business, "Lee's Uniforms and Embroidery," in the Safeway Plaza at 3900 Stockton Hill Road, Suite O.

The store, scheduled to open sometime in October, will pass hands from one Butler to the next. With its smaller size, the elder Butler said he believed it would be a more convenient fit for his son.

"This'll be a mom-and-pop-type specialized business," he said. "I think it'll make him happier."

Eric Duran, a sales associate for Leroy's Ace Hardware, said all the store's employees were re-hired by Tri State. He noted that the name of the store would stay the same under its new ownership.

"I think we'll all hold our positions," Duran said. "Everyone's filed a new application, and we all got re-hired."

Butler said he had nothing but gratitude for his customers three-and-a-half decades of patronage. He believes the change in ownership would ultimately be a benefit to the community.

"This is a win-win situation," he said. "Kingman's going to win and the buyer will also."