IT IS ALWAYS exciting to move into a new house, but it’s not always easy. If it is a new home for your dealership, the move can cost a lot of money, if you’re not careful.
Just ask Bill Shenk, co-owner of the Destination Powersports Dealer LAB dealership in Punta Gorda, Fla., and owner of the 20 Group consultancy, PowerHouse Dealer Services.
In December, Shenk and his crew of 15 employees moved Destination Powersports to a new facility on a corner lot with 400 feet of frontage on U.S. 41, a main route through Florida. The 13,000-sq. ft. building is 130 feet wide in the front. The new location provides better visibility, a better outside display area, a more efficient and attractive service center and customer lounge, and a more effective layout for marketing parts, accessories and units.
About 6,000 vehicles drive past the new building each day. At the former facility, a 6,250 sq. ft. building on a half-acre on a dead-end street one block off U.S. 41, about 20 cars drove past daily.
The old facility had outside display space for about 30 vehicles, and accommodated eight customer parking spaces.
“We have 20 spaces marked, but could park 100 customer cars and still have our display units out if need be,” Shenk said.
Photos by Edward Linsmier
It was a long ramp-up. Shenk started working on the deal in the fall of 2010, made his first offer in 2011 and closed Aug. 30. Remodeling began Sept. 3 and the first day of business was Dec. 4.
“Negotiating the purchase took longer than we expected, as did the city permits and selecting contractors,” he said, “so we didn’t get moved until December, during our holiday sales season, and that hurt our December sales. Initially, we had expected to move during September.”