In 1979, Jaecke recruited Honey Grant as a salesperson after hearing how well she had sold mobile homes. “She has a natural talent for selling,” Jaecke says. “She’s a whole lot braver than I am. She doesn’t mind asking for the sale; I’m kind of a quiet fella.”
Grant “just kind of took over” and is still general manager today. Other longtime employees include service manager Dean Mizes and parts manager Scott Templeton, both of whom joined the store in 1989. Mizes was the first mechanic in Kansas certified as a Harley-Davidson Master of Technology.
Jaecke’s personal life also changed during this time. He wed his second wife, Rodella, whom he’s been with for more than 20 years. She’s not big on motorcycling (“she doesn’t want to mess her hair up with a helmet”) but the couple shares another interest: They go ballroom dancing three times per week. They also enjoy cruising on the nearby lake in a 36 ft. Yamaha sailboat imported from Japan.
In 1999, Yamaha dropped City Cycle Sales from its dealer network; Kawasaki was happy to take its place. Harley-Davidson complained about the addition but could do nothing about it because of state law.
Soon after, Harley made it known that it was time City Cycle Sales had a new building. Jaecke complied even though he was content with his then-location: an 8,000 sq. ft. former grocery store in town. “Harley thinks you ought to build a new monument to yourself — or to them, I don’t know which,” he says.
Jaecke believes the store’s location today couldn’t be better. In 2002, a Chevy dealer gave him the option of buying either end of a strip of land along I-70, obtained for his own future dealership. One end had about a 20 ft. slope. Jaecke has a thing for big basements (perhaps engendered when his dad singlehandedly dug out one underneath his house), so he chose the hilly side. Before planning the new building, Jaecke and his wife spent a week visiting dealerships within a 500-mile area. “We stopped and talked to the manager or owner and asked him, ‘If you were going to build this building again, what would you do different?’ We wrote that all down and tried to put it into this building.”
City Cycle Sales’ new location opened in 2005 with a basement underneath the entire footprint. Inventory can be unloaded into the 15,000 sq. ft. basement via both a garage door opening to a recessed loading dock, and a garage door at the top of a drive-in ramp. The dealership is right up against the highway fence, with the access road behind it, so there’s nowhere outside to hide clutter. The basement thus provides the needed storage space.