First Coast Powersports is conquering the ancient city

Publish Date: 
Feb 27, 2014
By Beth Dolgner

Supporting the Lifestyle

Stretching from A1A on one side to Ponce de Leon on the other, First Coast Powersports has tourist trolley stops on each end. The Old Jail and the entrance to the Fountain of Youth — popular tourist attractions — are across the street.

For Allen, building this Top 100 dealership is about more than sales. It is about supporting the lifestyle and reflecting the history of St. Augustine, whose start in 1565 makes it the oldest city in the nation. (Quick history lesson: Ponce de Leon and his crew were the first to land on Florida soil, in 1513. More than a half-century later, the Spanish established a colony. The area changed hands between Spain and England before the Spanish ceded the land to the United States in 1819.)

Allen’s desk is currently covered with architectural drawings, showing what First Coast Powersports will become in the next 18 months. Their marketing efforts already include hosting events, but the revamped facility will be more conducive to bike events, music, DJs and even some local television.

Photos by Edward Linsmier

“Our goal is to create this lifestyle event center,” Allen said, adding that displays will double as stages and raised platforms will be viable as both product shelving and runways for gear and apparel shows.

“We can have music going on, we’ll put a live DJ booth in the store so that during holidays and big weekends and events, we have somebody that’s interacting.”

The hope is to bring in both riders and potential new riders. “My goal has always been different than other motorcycle dealers,” Allen said.

“Other motorcycle dealers fight for what I call professional buyers: the same customers that already know what they’re doing, they know where the stores are, they know how to buy a motorcycle. They know how to ride.”

And while much of the store’s marketing and events are focused on existing riders and customers, like the wildly popular Kids Off-Road Demo Day, First Coast also does a lot of outreach that targets people who are looking for a lifestyle like the one built around motorcycles.

Allen plans to host new rider courses to usher in additional business. And he has already found some success with crossover marketing, garnering particularly good exposure by sponsoring the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars.

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