COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Ranch Harley-Davidson is expanding and they’re hoping it’ll bring a lot more business to the Brazos Valley.
“We’re giving people a reason to ride out of Houston traffic, giving people a reason to ride out of Austin traffic by having the type of facilities some of these other cities have," said owner and general manager, Susan Gipson.
The Ranch Harley-Davidson has broken ground on a new location which is in the field next to its current facility.
The motorcycle shop has quite a bit of history in Brazos County. Before moving into their current College Station property in the year 2000, the Harley-Davidson store used to be in Bryan. Russ Welch previously owned the store before Gipson took over in 2016.
Gipson said as the years have gone by their store has just grown too big for it’s where it is now.
The building was originally designed to only stock and sell 200 bikes out of. The Ranch sold about 670 motorcycles last year.
Because of the demand, there is not enough room to house all of the bikes inside and be able to move around comfortably. The staff has to bring in and take out dozens of bikes outside everyday.
“In order for us to grow, we’re going to have to have more space," Gipson said.
The planned 52,000 square-foot dealership will have an open concept showroom to display new and used Harley-Davidson motorcycles, a state-of-the-art service department and an expanded section of parts, accessories and clothes.
"It’s going to be warm, it’s going to feel like a ranch home and we’re going to be a destination for motorcycles," Gipson explains.
About 90 percent of the Ranch’s business comes from nearby cities like Houston. Gipson believes with an even bigger facility it will draw more out of town bike enthusiasts. Those guests have the potential to help the B/CS economy because they may use local restaurants, gas stations and hotel services.
"If we can get you through those front doors you won’t go anywhere else," Gipson said.
Construction began Monday and contactors believe the store will be finished by Nov. 1. Gipson hopes it will be ready by Aug. 1, just in time for her fifth anniversary as store owners.