FeaturesIn this issueTop Stories

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas H-D


Dealership benefits from new location across from famous sign

It was 10 a.m. on a Wednesday in October, and Las Vegas Harley-Davidson was buzzing. A few people lined up at the parts counter; a couple was consulting with someone in service, while a few customers perused the options at the T-shirt bar, and others took time to get their photo snapped with the State of Nevada 150th Anniversary bike.

For some dealerships, that could be construed as normal, but at it’s new location, LVHD had yet to set the stage for normal. Wednesday, Oct. 1 was only the second day the dealership had been open to the public, and the dealership had yet to even communicate with its fans that it was open, only notifying them that the Friday, Oct. 3, wet T-shirt contest would be at the new location.

Yet, there the dealership sat, relatively busy for a weekday morning, as consumers began arriving in their own vehicles, via cab and from simply walking across Las Vegas Boulevard from the famous Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada sign.

Strong start

Don Andress, president of the dealership, and vice president Tim Cashman were happy to see the crowd that had filtered in that day. And they’ve been glad with the dealership’s performance since its opening.

“It’s been great. The month of October, which is a big riding month in and around southern Nevada, was fantastic,” Cashman told Powersports Business.

LVHD has had a place in the famous Nevada city for decades, but despite a few previous relocations, the dealership had never been on the Strip until now. As Las Vegas’ economy has been slow to recover, the price of land on Las Vegas Boulevard dropped significantly in 2012, giving Andress and Cashman — who also own Red Rock and Zion Harley-Davidson — an opportunity to finally move their dealership to the famous Las Vegas street.

The 65,000-square foot dealership is not only a short walk from the Las Vegas sign, but the property also abuts the airport, allowing airplane passengers to see the store as they land. In fact, LVHD has affixed signs to the airport-facing outside wall and the roof of the building, so airplane passengers don’t miss it.   

So far, the more-visible-to-tourists location is working.

“We were averaging about 1,000 people a day through the front door when we opened. We think 20, 30 percent of them came from the sign and have never been in a Harley-Davidson dealership before,” Cashman said, adding that dealership is working on better tracking those numbers, so he can better understand the store’s customers.

As winter crept in, the dealership is now averaging closer to 600-700 customers per day, but that’s hardly anything to scoff at.


Rentals a key piece

And the dealership isn’t just aiming to gain T-shirt sales from visitors. The rental area is a large feature in the front of the store, with an oversized map covering the wall, to show riders where they can take off for a day-long (or more) ride. LVHD is also offering quick service to visitors who have ridden in but need repairs to continue on their journey.

The dealership also created a Recharge Zone convenience store, accessible from inside the dealership and through its own outer door. The Recharge Zone sells soda, beer and snacks for both the casual passerby and the customer who needs refreshments while making purchasing decisions, and the department is expected to be an extra profit center.

However, despite this renewed focus on tourists, LVHD hasn’t forgotten its regulars. The dealership’s loyal customers also find the location easy to access, as the driveways filter in directly from Las Vegas Boulevard. The longtime customers have responded well to the move.

“Bike sales have picked up in this location compared to the other location,” Cashman said. “That is good; we hoped that would happen.”

LVHD has also turned its airport-facing back lot into a motorcycle training course, with a few classes already completed by mid-December. And it has a mezzanine that overlooks the showroom that’s available for rent.

The dealership is also big on events, hosting a wet T-shirt contest and a band on its first weekend in the new location. A grand opening followed on Nov. 1, which included appearances by dirt track riders Jared and Nichole Mees, live music, a live performance by a magician, local food trucks and the giveaway of the Nevada 150th Anniversary 2014 FLHX Street Glide, signed by Gov. Brian Sandoval. Tickets for that giveaway were $150, and the proceeds benefitted the Nevada 150 Foundation, Inc.

Events continued throughout the fall and early winter, with December Rodeo Days running Dec. 3-13, as the dealership gave away a set of National Finals Rodeo tickets to a MotorClothes or P&A customer, provided $10 off a purchase for a toy donation and offered three autograph sessions with world champion bareback rider Kaycee Feild.

Though Las Vegas’ economy is still struggling, LVHD will end 2014 flat with 2013. Cashman is hopeful 2015 might be the year the dealership will see increases, and he’s hoping the new location will be the driver for improvement.

“We were very nervous because we thought that some good things could happen, but until they do, you’re building, and you’ve got your fingers crossed,” he said, “so we’re pleased that — it looks like at least — things are going to work out like we anticipated.”

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button