Creating hog heaven.
RICK WORTH, WORTH HARLEY-DAVIDSON
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI
THIRD LARGEST HARLEY DEALER IN THE U.S.
Rick Worth had the land and the plan to relocate and expand his Harley-Davidson dealership from a location on North Oak to a more visible location on I-29. He had outgrown his old space and put off moving as long as he could. He spent a year finding the perfect parcel of land — which he eventually purchased — and put together architectural plans.
However, a completely different opportunity presented itself, which allowed him to save millions of dollars on the project. "We had just purchased 10 acres, then the economy turned sour,” Worth said. “We had to rethink things. Even though building costs were going down, they were still too expensive to justify building on that property.”
"Everyone was telling me that we wouldn’t get the money, that banks just weren’t lending, but Commerce stood behind me all of the way."
When a car dealership near his newly purchased land opened up, the solution became clear. The showroom was similar to his vision and there was room to grow. It seemed like an ideal solution to reduce the overall cost of the project.
Refurbishing the former car dealership gave him 50,000 square feet of retail space to show off his Harleys.
The space has the right look and feel, and Worth says first-time visitors find the new location impressive. While Worth says they’ve seen a small dip in sales of motorcycles during the recession, apparel and collectible sales have gone up significantly because people are coming in who would never have found their dealership before.
Worth is the third largest Harley-Davidson dealer in the country, and he looks forward to continued growth. He encourages other businesses to not lose focus even when the economy is tight. “Just keep doing what you do," Worth said. "You have to keep marketing yourself. You have to have the right people on your sales team. You have to have a plan and you can’t over leverage yourself.”
He also emphasizes the importance of having a bank take the time to listen to his goals and ideas. “This is just the right thing at the right time,” he said. “We couldn’t not do this, and Commerce understood that and helped make it happen.”
“Commerce Bank helped me work through the math and understand what was going on in the real estate market. Having access to that information during negotiations really helped me get a fix on what the property should be worth and how much it would take to get it to where we needed it to be.”
Rick Worth, president