Why Seltzer Powersports moved to multiline

Publish Date: 
Oct 26, 2012
By Joe Delmont

ONE DAY IN 2004, Steve Seltzer and a buddy were drinking beer and talking, as guys do, about their futures, and where they were headed.

Seltzer was a little bit free with some extra cash following the sale of his family’s successful telecommunications business in Pennsylvania. 

It was a nice situation, but a little bit unsettling for a 49-year-old guy who had worked in the family business all of his adult life. Where to go from here?

Both guys were long-time riders. So they thought, why not buy a motorcycle dealership in the Altoona area?

The two approached Polaris about starting a Victory Motorcycle dealership, but Polaris turned them down as there was another dealer in the region. “Victory would have been okay if we just wanted to run the store as a hobby,” Seltzer says. “But there wasn’t enough volume to build a business, and Polaris wouldn’t set up a second ATV dealer in our county.”

Next, the two approached the owner of a Honda dealership in town and negotiated the purchase of that business. Before the closing, Seltzer’s partner opted out of the deal, so Seltzer was into it by himself.

“He was a numbers guy and he’s been a huge help to me,” says Seltzer, who describes himself as a sales and marketing person. “But we soon realized that the store couldn’t support two families.”

Selzter bought the small 7,000 sq. ft. store in April 2005. He struggled with it as a Honda PowerHouse dealership before finally dropping the Honda exclusive approach in January 2012 when he acquired the Kawasaki and KYMCO franchises.

The first years included putting up a new building and upgrading the accounting system with a new Lightspeed product. In total, it took about two years just to get the accounting system running satisfactorily.

In August 2006 Seltzer moved the business to a 14,300 sq. ft. facility located on 15.4 acres just off Interstate 99. Seltzer Powersports, as it's now known, operates an off-site 4,000 sq. ft. storage facility. The land also is used for dirtbike and ATV demos. (Continued)