Power Profiles

Colorado Springs Harley-Davidson/Pikes Peak Harley-Davidson/Pikes Peak Motorsports – Colorado Springs, CO – Sept. 3, 2007

Colorado Springs Harley-Davidson
2180 Victor Place
Colorado Springs, Colo. 80915
Pikes Peak Harley-Davidson
5867 N. Nevada Ave.
Colorado Springs, Colo. 80918
Pikes Peak Motorsports
5867 N. Nevada Ave.
Colorado Springs, Colo. 80918
Rob Brooks and Herb Aston
It might seem prohibitive to have two Harley-Davidson dealerships owned by the same person or people in one city, but Colorado Springs Harley-Davidson and Pikes Peak Harley-Davidson co-owner Rob Brooks has found the rewards outweigh the risks. “It’s been a welcome to the business from a revenue standpoint, but a challenge in terms of getting both stores on the same page with strategies,” Brooks said. “I think we’ve done a good job with getting the management structure to cater to both stores rather than individualizing.” Brooks isn’t afraid to test alternative retailing methods: He just opened Pikes Peak Motorsports in June as a “store within a store” at the same location as Pikes Peak Harley-Davidson to sell non-Harley motorcycles. He’s a partner in all three with his father, Herb Aston, who acted as the Motor Company’s director of worldwide training in Milwaukee before moving to Colorado Springs. The two, along with Aston’s wife Sunny, arrived in 1995 and opened Pikes Peak Harley-Davidson. Brooks learned the ropes under his father’s tutelage and bought into the business in 2005. Colorado Springs Harley-Davidson followed, as a satellite operation, in May 2006. It has since been given more leash as a separate location. Pikes Peak Harley-Davidson remains the group’s flagship store. To reflect its surroundings and heritage, the store is outfitted with a gold mine theme. Both H-D stores sell Harley and Buell bikes. Pikes Peak Motorsports is home to Aprilia, Hyosung, Moto Guzzi and Orange County Choppers products and is in the process of adding MV Agusta to its offerings.
“The uncertainty of the economy is one thing that worries me,” Brooks said. “Especially since what we sell is a ‘selfish’ item. The price of gas is a concern. It’s a selling point for some product, but if [customers] don’t have disposable income, they’re still not going to come through the doors.”
As Pikes Peak Motorsports is so new to the mix, Harley-Davidson products are easily the top sellers for the company as a whole. “By far, demand is with the Softail line and Touring motorcycles,” Brooks said. The Softail Heritage and Softail Deluxe are the most popular in the Colorado Springs area. Customers are drawn to the line’s style and design, Brooks said, adding that its motor helps sell the line. The Touring Ultra Classic has long been a top seller for Pikes Peak, largely because the mountains are only 30 minutes away, making for a quick and easy escape for locals.
With more customers coming into the dealership chock-full of information, accurate or not, that they’ve gleaned from the Internet, exemplary customer service has come to the fore at Pikes Peak Harley-Davidson, Colorado Springs Harley-Davidson and Pikes Peak Motorsports. Brooks believes good customer service will retain Web-savvy consumers.
The company divides its parts business three-fold. One focus is on internal work, accessorizing bikes before they hit the showroom floor. That way customers who see some options on a bike don’t have to wait for them to be installed but can take a pre-accessorized bike with them if they like. The dealerships also do a healthy over- the-counter parts business and run an eBay store for additional parts sales. Pikes Peak Harley-Davidson fields 10 service technicians and its Colorado Springs counterpart has six.
While word of mouth is the dealerships’ best advertising, they also focus heavily on television and radio advertisements, Brooks said. They recently rolled out a “Stick it to the Man” broadcast campaign aiming to draw in customers with $0 down and 2.99 percent APR financing. In addition to these efforts, the company uses its $550,000 advertising budget to fund e-blasts, bag stuffers and a relatively small amount of print advertising, among other marketing pursuits.
“Don’t focus on the now and today,” Brooks said. “Look to the future because the market has changed. As a Harley dealer, it’s time to change what we do.”
— Lisa Young

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