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Long-time downtown travel agency says farewell

POSTED August 7, 2009 10:47 p.m.
Another downtown Turlock business will be closing its doors soon. Ingie’s travel, which opened in 1960 as Ingie’s Hair Fashions, will be closing in the next few weeks. Unlike many Turlock businesses, however, Ingie’s Travel has secured new jobs for most of its current employees.
Travel agents at Ingie’s will be moving to Adventure Travel on Main Street. They will also be taking their client files with them, so clients at Ingie’s can continue with their vacation plans uninterrupted. And Ingie’s does still have clients, despite the recent popularity of online booking for flights and hotels. Roy Klevmyr, manager of Ingie’s Travel, said that clients are still looking to travel agencies for booking more complex trips and international travel. He said that Ingie’s offers detailed daily itineraries for clients who do not have the time to build one, or who prefer to let someone else make their travel arrangements.
Ingie Klevmyr immigrated to Turlock from Norway in 1954. She graduated from Adrian’s beauty college in Modesto and opened her salon on East Olive in 1960. Roy Klevmyr said that his mother’s salon was the largest one in Turlock at the time. After a while though, Ingie decided that she needed a new challenge.
“After 14 years, I just decided to do something else,” she said.
Ingie Klevmyr enrolled in the International College in San Francisco to become a travel agent. She commuted to school three nights a week after work for several months. She re-opened Ingie’s Hair Fashions as Ingie’s Travel in 1974. In 1979, Ingie’s installed the recognizable rainbow facade on the business, which is still in its original location on Olive.
Roy Klevmyr started at his mother’s travel agency after his freshman year of college, and he was only supposed to help out for six months.
“This has been the longest six months of my life,” Roy Klevmyr said.
Roy Klevmyr is closing Ingie’s travel so that he can retire from the travel business and move on to something else. He said that new client acquisition has been difficult lately, and the younger generation doesn’t understand what a travel agent has to offer. Klevmyr said that when the opportunity for his staff to move to Adventure Travel came up, he thought it was the best exit strategy. He said he would miss the excitement of his job, and the travel, but mostly he would miss his employees.
“I have the best employees anyone has ever had,” Roy Klevmyr said.
Ingie Klevmyr retired a few years ago at the age of 83. She said that she will be a little sad to see Ingie’s go, but that it was Roy’s decision to make.
“You can’t live for your kids, they have to do what they want,” Ingie said.
To contact Andrea Goodwin, e-mail agoodwin@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2003.
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