Rather than become a victim of its own success, Thunderbird Harley-Davidson took a proactive approach by branching out to a new part of the city.
The result is Duke City Harley-Davidson, which opened its doors in late March to much fanfare.
The 12,000-square-foot facility encompasses two buildings in what used to be a recreational-vehicle site just off of I-40 at Lomas and Wyoming NE.
“This gives us the chance to serve a different part of town,” said Sean Delaney, who is the general manager for both Harley stores. “We really like the spot. We thought it would be a really good fit for us.”
The location sits right at the gateway to some of the prime riding areas near Albuquerque, Delaney said of the nearby East Mountains that draw motorcyclists to its winding roads.
“It’s nice for us,” he said. “We’re already seeing people stop in here for a cup of coffee before or after the ride.”
And the location provides more overall coverage, Delaney said.
The opportunity to deliver another full-service, 3,500-square-foot shop will help cut down on the backlog at Thunderbird, he said, and get riders back on the road quicker.
“We were at max capacity at Thunderbird,” Delaney said.
Of the 30 new employees, three are full-time technicians, plus a part-timer who rotates between the stores.
“Right now we’re starting to get pretty busy so we might have to add another full-timer over here,” Delaney said.
Before Duke City became a reality, Harley-Davidson had to approve an application to add what’s called a satellite store, he said. Then in January work began on remodeling the buildings with the Harley motif and adding a casual lounge that took advantage of the large RV bays whose windows offer majestic views of the Sandias and Manzanos.
Now Delaney gets to log a whole lot more road time traveling between the two stores, and while that means plenty of extra miles on his truck, it also means that when the weather is nice, he can take out his Harley and take advantage of the smooth ride down Tramway. “And there’s nothing wrong with that,” he said with a smile.