What started in 1969 as a General Motors Corp.-financed 1.5-acre lot on East Charleston Boulevard has now grown into four family-owned dealerships, with two located on East Sahara Avenue in Las Vegas, one in Henderson and one in Pahrump. “Las Vegas has been very good to our family, to go from one to four (dealerships),” said Greg Heinrich, dealer principal, whose father started the business.
Heinrich started his career in the car industry when his family moved to Las Vegas from Bakersfield, Calif., in 1969. His father had been working in the industry since 1950 and brought the family to Las Vegas to acquire a lot of his own. Throughout high school and college at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Heinrich worked in all departments at the dealership, from parts to service to sales. During his time in Las Vegas, Heinrich’s late father, Bill, was involved in the Chamber of Commerce, the now-defunct Kidney Foundation and, at one point, considered running for mayor.
Today, the Bill and Lillie Heinrich YMCA is named for Heinrich’s parents and the dealership continues to support the club. For Heinrich, the choice to sell vehicles made by General Motors, which turned 100 in 2008, was an easy one. He had grown up with Chevrolet, felt inclined toward domestics and had “always felt General Motors and Chevrolet were the right place to be.” “Chevrolet had a lot of different models; there was something for everyone,” Heinrich said. “That was important so that we weren’t just selling luxury cars or selling low-end cars — we had trucks, we had cars, then SUVs started and we had SUVS, we had sports cars. Most manufacturers don’t offer all that.” Heinrich attributes Fairway Chevrolet’s success to his co-workers, many of whom have worked at the dealership for decades, and the Las Vegas community. Today, Heinrich’s operations remain family-oriented. His daughters Whitney and Heidi joining the family business.