A former employee of Fort Myers Harley-Davidson has struck out on his own, though he took the long way around to opening Pirate Coast Cycles in Cape Coral, Fla.
After years at the H-D dealership, John Ottervanger launched other business ventures – including a consulting firm, a pressure washing operation and a pool maintenance business – to teach himself to run a business.
“I knew how to work in the motorcycle industry, but I didn’t know how to run a business,” he told the Fort Myers News-Press. “And I wanted more out of life.”
Ottervanger opened the 5,000 sq. ft. facility last June, an “unheard of” 45 days after signing the lease. Then he found out the city was about to tear up the street in front of the store. “I sat on the floor with my head in my hands,” he says. “I had visions of another four-year Santa Barbara Boulevard project.”
The repaving job went quickly and Pirate Coast Cycles, which has two employees, launched as a full service motorcycle shop. “We sell ‘pre-loved’ bikes, we sell on consignment, we sell a full line of parts and accessories, and we have a full-service shop,” Ottervanger says. “We’ll work on anything, we’re not prejudiced.”
Posted by Holly Wagner
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