Rossmeyer face fading from billboards

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Nearly a year after Bruce Rossmeyer’s death on the way to Sturgis, his face is slowly starting to fade from his dealership empire.

Rossmeyer's family is gradually replacing billboards with his smiling face with new boards, sans Rossmeyer image, although the name will stay.

“It's timing,” Shelly Rossmeyer Pepe, Rossmeyer's youngest daughter, told the Miami Herald. “You've got to refresh the brand, and the name is what we care the most about. The family felt strongly about maintaining that.”

Family members have taken over running the six dealerships, comprising 12 sites in Broward, Central Florida, Colorado, Mississippi and Boston. (His niece has just opened Southern Thunder in Tennessee.) Rossmeyer's wife, Sandy, is president and the family has divided up responsibilities.

“We were never prepared to lose him, but we are prepared to carry on,” Sandy Rossmeyer says. “With the economy there has had to be some changes. We're trying to make him proud of us.”

The Rossmeyer dealerships saw a 35 percent drop in sales for the fourth quarter of 2009, about average for most Harley dealers, Rossmeyer Pepe says. The company has had to close an apparel store in Boca Raton and the Pompano Beach dealership.

Rossmeyer dealership sales are flat compared to last year, but Rossmeyer Pepe is optimistic.

“It's looking better,” she says. “We had a great Bike Week.”

Posted by Holly Wagner