Harley-Davidson rethinking Laconia presence?

Publish Date: 
Jan 3, 2011

Harley-Davidson may be bugging out of its presence at Laconia Bike Week.

City Manager Eileen Cabanel recently told the City Council that a Harley-Davidson representative had called about the event the company has held annually for the past few years during Motorcycle Week at the City Hall parking lot.

"They let us know they might not be back," Cabanel told the council, adding that they indicated they were looking at other venues in the city and in surrounding communities, according to the Laconia Citizen.

Cabanel told the council Harley-Davidson didn't give a reason, but in the past, company representatives have expressed a desire for more participation from downtown businesses.

"[They] have always wanted the whole downtown integrated into the festival atmosphere," Cabanel said.

She proposed two possibilities to keep H-D in town: a survey soliciting downtown business support, and the link of a local train — which typically shuttles people from Lakeport to the Weirs Beach epicenter of Motorcycle Week — to the downtown area.

"If we want to keep them [Harley-Davidson], we have to work on it, and we have to want it," she said.

Last year Harley-Davidson moved its Sturgis presence from the Rapid City civic center area to the heart of downtown Sturgis, reportedly to get closer to the company’s customers.

Posted by Holly Wagner

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