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Parsons a Magic Man indeed in Greater Phoenix

Go AZ Motorcycles owner throws a party for the ages — and the kids


It would be a smart idea to add Biker Bob’s Bash to your list of motorcycle events to attend.

I hopped on a early morning flight from Orlando and a couple of hours later I was in the parking lot of Phoenix Children’s Hospital with a ride crowd that was growing by the minute.

The setting could not have been better. Ideal temperatures, and kids from the local School of Rock belting out the crowd’s favorite hits. I still had not made my way to Go AZ Motorcycles or Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale, the two dealerships that hosted the best dealership event I’ve ever attended.

Of course, I had to know if the throng of nearly 500 strong were all customers, so I checked around. One rider has known dealership owner Bob Parsons — namesake of Biker Bob’s Bash — for many years. A mom walked precariously between the rows of bikes with three kids in tow. So of course I stopped her. Seems the youngster of threesome, himself about 3 years old, only months ago now, had been given only days to live as he awaited at the same Phoenix Children’s Hospital for a heart transplant.

He turned briefly with the hundreds of other riders on hand to wave up to the windows of the hospital. There you could see the young patients who were able enough to walk to their hospital room windows, waving down at us. Nurses held the youngest in their arms to see what all the commotion was about down in the parking lot. If you don’t usually don’t get goosebumps when you participate in rides, you will at Biker Bob’s Bash.

When my chat with the family continued, mom explained that, of course, any time she is able to help support the non-profit hospital, she’s first in line. The youngster walked around the rows of bikes like he owned the place. With a ride-issue bandana placed perfectly over his head, he looked the part. Turns out, he did virtually own the place. Later during the day, he joined Parsons on stage as a mascot of sorts for the event.

By then, the 311 bikes and 494 riders who participated in the half-hour kickoff ride from the hospital had grown into the thousands back in Scottsdale at Go AZ Motorcycles, and the crowd would only grow larger through the night as they eagerly awaited Heart’s appearance.

The Phoenix School of Rock kids got the juices flowing, of course, in the hospital parking lot. The crescendo came when the band was ready to crank into Van Halen’s “Hot For Teacher,” and they asked for some assistance from the riders to provide some throttle revs for the intro. Drums or motorcycles at the beginning of the song? There was no doubt in this case. Minutes later, I was glad to hop inside a Ural sidecar alongside Charlie Kontryn and take some photos of the ride. AMA Pro Road racer Melissa Paris and Craig McKnight, CFO of Phoenix Children’s Hospital, led the ride.

Kontryn from Go AZ not only excels at service on Urals, but he’s a supreme driver as well. And like the rest of the crew from Go AZ, they take hospitality to a new level. Talk about creating an environment that you want to just go hang out in. The Go AZ Motorcycles crew, from Parsons to the service guys, makes it easy why they were selected as the No. 1 dealership by Powersports Business for the second year in a row.

Former Go AZ general manager and current VP of motorcycles for Parsons’ motorcycle dealerships, Gina Marra probably summed up her approach to bringing customers back when she took a call while offering a tour of the facilities. A customer had a problem with a purchase — could have been a bike or T-shirt, I don’t know — and a staffer needed some advice. “Just make him happy. I don’t care. Then we need to whatever he wants us to do to make him happy.”

Odds are the guy left happy. So did the rest of the thousands of visitors to the 14-acre motorcycle heaven, now four buildings strong and growing for Go AZ Motorcycles alone. Footings for the adjacent Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale have been constructed, and the new dealership will be over the top when it opens next year. A special appearance by Sons of Anarchy star Theo Rossi, “Juice” and builders Len Edmonson and Paul Jaffe had HDOS overflowing with visitors. Fans of “Biker Battleground Phoenix” on the History Channel formed endless lines for the photo op.


Bands, food trucks and Go AZ-sponsored Paris kept Go AZ equally packed during the afternoon. If Paris is not on your company’s radar as a potential partner, she should be. She’s as down-to-earth and professional as any athlete you’ll meet. Pre-concert entertainment on the store’s rider training track included performances by the Glove of Death Thrill Show prior to Ann and Nancy Wilson taking the stage and rocking like it was 1979.

The ride raised $379,652.04 for Phoenix Children’s Hospital, thanks to a matching assist from the Bob and Renee Parsons foundation. All rider registration fees and concert ticket and T-shirt sales, as well as a percentage of proceeds from the sale of food and beverage, went to the hospital.

Before Heart took the stage, Parsons took the mic and nearly brought tears to a trio of prize winners who thought they were getting $10,000 and $5,000 (2) cash toward a custom bike build. Instead, Parsons informed them that they should simply stop into the store and select the 2014 model of their choice. Heck, even the guy who rode a brand that Go AZ doesn’t carry was welcomed with open arms.

Not surprising, I guess, since that’s what they do. And if you want to buy a motorcycle, they’ll take care of you in that department, too.

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