H-D of Erie nominated as county employer of the year

Publish Date: 
Jan 15, 2014

ERIE, Pa. – Most people are in the powersports industry because they love it, but Harley-Davidson of Erie is proving it as a nominee for the Erie County's Economic Development Corp.’s employer of the year.

Winners will be announced at the annual banquet Jan. 23.

The shop has been around since 1972, and under the ownership of Kelly and Susan Lapping for the last six and a half years. They’ve done well enough to move to a new, larger and higher-profile location in 2012, and they say last year was a banner year. The store offers sales and rentals.

"Actually, everything's exceeded our expectations. Our business has been able to grow by leaps and bounds. Obviously, the economy's been a little tumultuous the last few years, and our business has gone against the current," dealer principal Kelly Lapping told WICU.

The Lappings credit their employees and the community for the company's success. The staff has increased by 60 percent since 2007. 

"We’ve really instilled in our staff a commitment to customer service. The people that we have here, the employees that work here, they get it. They bought into it. They understand that our business is about relationships," Kelly Lapping said.

The dealership holds themed events to benefit charity each month, makes donations to other causes and has a nine-day Bikefest during the Roar on the Shore motorcycle rally. The Lappings also go the extra mile to make the new site fun.

"We leased out space to a restaurant here and we're looking to expand and bring in a couple other retail businesses that are complimentary to our business,” Lapping said. “We're looking for that to happen in the next year.”

Posted by Holly Wagner