Despite Economy, Dealer Expands

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While the bad economy has claimed many businesses, one dealer in Williamstown, W.V., has been doing so much business it had to expand.

S&P Harley-Davidson opened for business last Thursday to a crowd of eager fans.

"I took a day's vacation just to see this new shop," rider Judy Gaston of Ritchie County told the News and Sentinal. "My husband, John, and I are huge Harley fans and couldn't pass up the opportunity to come here."

The business moved from Marietta to a new, larger location to create a destination store. It is 24,000 square feet and includes a store, service shop and meeting rooms for employees and the local H-D owners group, Borderline HOG. Borderline members donated more than 1,000 hours of work on the new building and helped owners Steve and Patsy Hardy choose what the locals want in a dealer.

"We even have a full customer lounge area with a working fireplace, sofas, a kitchen area and restrooms," Patsy Hardy told the newspaper. "We really designed this shop to be a destination." The new facility was built on a 20-acre lot, leaving space for a restaurant, hotel and gas station.

Hardy said business is booming.

"From January 2008 to January 2009, our motorcycle sales have nearly quadrupled," she said. "To be able to support the current growth and be prepared for future growth, we needed this building."

The owners plan a three-day "super grand opening" during the first weekend in June.

Posted by Holly Wagner