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Texas dealer keeps community at its center

By Kate Swanson

Cycle Center of Denton recognized with Ray Price Community Service Award

For almost two decades, Cycle Center of Denton has worked to give back to its Denton, Texas, community. From wildly popular in-house events to its partnerships in charity giveaways, the dealership has gained recognition for its achievements over the years.

In 2016, Cycle Center of Denton was awarded the inaugural Ray Price Community Service Award during the Powersports Business Power 50 awards ceremony at AIMExpo. The Ray Price award is given to a dealership that displays a strong commitment to and support of its community. Its namesake was the owner of Ray Price Harley-Davidson and Ray Price Triumph in Raleigh, North Carolina, whose dealership annually hosts a three-day bikefest that attracts thousands. Price passed away in 2013, and Ray Price H-D staff built the award trophy from parts taken from old bikes that Price had run as a drag racer. The second annual award winner will be announced at AIMExpo in Columbus, Ohio, in September.

“It was very humbling to have the recognition of our community service in Denton,” said Corinne Martin, marketing manager of Cycle Center of Denton. “We do a lot within our community; that’s a very humbling award to receive, and we really appreciate that.”

pCycle Center of Denton team members with the 2016 Ray Price Community Service Award (left to right): Kenny Martin, Chris Hawkins, Jason Marceleno, Josh Polete and Mark Sivertsen.

The local and annual Coats for Kids Ride (C4KR) was organized by Greg Sawko, of Sawko & Burroughs Attorneys at Law, and Bryan Tynes, general manager of American Eagle Harley-Davidson, when Sawko learned that children in the nearby school district were without coats in 2011. The ride is 100 percent support by volunteers and several local businesses are also involved. Kenny Martin, president of Cycle Center of Denton, serves as a C4KR board member, and Corinne Martin, Kenny’s wife, helps to manage the Coats for Kids Ride’s Facebook page. 

The ride begins at Cycle Center of Denton with a big send-off party, including music, food trucks, motivational speakers and T-shirt sales with proceeds going toward the purchase of new coats. The ride then moves to American Eagle Harley-Davidson in nearby Corinth, Texas, where the party continues with a live band and food trucks.

“We like to really throw a party, and the collaboration we do between the stores is great because we have a party on the frontside at Cycle Center of Denton and then we have a party on the backside at American Eagle,” said Kenny Martin. “We are able to give away a lot of stuff and raise money for a lot of coats for kids, which is a great thing to do for Denton.”

In past years, Corinne said the ride has seen more than 2,000 people in attendance. In 2014, the Coats for Kids Ride donated 2,700 coats to children in need. “We’re in the planning stages right now for [the 2017] Coats for Kids, but we anticipate it will be another huge success,” said Kenny. 

This year, Kenny said the dealership is also planning another partnership with American Eagle Harley-Davidson and will raise funds to benefit the United Way of Denton. “It’s another event that we have in the works for 2017 to help raise money, be involved in the community and have events that we can all share,” he added. 

Cycle Center of Denton, a 2016 Power 50 dealer, hosts multiple events and rides at its dealership each month. Its annual three-day Customer Appreciation Extravaganza has continued to grow in size and fun each year.

The dealership sponsors a long list of programs within the Denton community, including athletics at the University of North Texas, Argyle Independent School District and Denton High School; the Boy Scouts of America Honda Loaner Program; the Denton 100 Club supporting local police; and the Denton Dance Conservatory, to name a few. 

Events that bring awareness to the community and awareness to dealership have been very successful. Every October, Cycle Center of Denton hosts its annual three-day Customer Appreciation Extravaganza to celebrate its customers and the larger Denton community. Past events have featured catered BBQ, huge sales, extended dealership hours, multiple giveaways and local bands. The 2017 event details are still under wraps, but the Martins are already sensing the excitement.

“It’s going to be more of a party than ever before,” said Kenny. “We love that event because it’s just a positive interaction with the customers. It’s a family-friendly fun event for everybody to come, and whether you bought a $2 part, or you bought a $30,000 unit, to us, they’re our VIP customers.”

“The goal is to make sure our customers know how much they are appreciated. With over 400 customers in attendance, we feel this is our most successful event due to the exposure it gives the dealership,” said Corinne Martin. “The staff truly loves putting on this event, giving back to the community, and we intend on making them bigger and more fun each time.” 

The dealership has also received local attention for its efforts. In 2015 and 2016, Cycle Center of Denton was named Best of Denton winner in the motorcycle dealer category by local newspaper the Denton Record-Chronicle.

“It’s a really unique award that Denton does. … It’s all done by people in the community that we’ve reached and touched and had an effect on. It’s really nice to know that the community itself has voted for us; it’s not necessarily our customers,” said Kenny. 

Cycle Center of Denton is getting back to the basics in 2017, aiming to go on more rides with customers, get out of the dealership and back on the road. “We’re focusing more on rides. It puts the customer directly in contact with the owner of the business. We go out; we ride, and it’s a personal relationship,” Kenny said. “We’re going to try that this year and put in an effort to get more riders in and get more people to come out and make it simple. It’s all about fun; it’s about the ride.”

“Cycle Center of Denton will be part of Denton for as long as the economy will support us, and our involvement in events like these is a thank you to our community for allowing us to build a business here,” added Corinne. 

 

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