As 4,000 Harley Davidson motorcycles are expected to flood the streets of St. Augustine this month, many small businesses might miss a big economic opportunity.
Allen Good, owner of Harley Davidson of St. Augustine, does not think the city embraced the upcoming Hog Rally as well as they should have.
Each year, one Floridian city hosts the Hog Rally and Good said St. Augustine has been fairly lackluster at promoting the event. “I don’t think they appreciate the economic benefit,” he said.
Good has been preparing for the event all year as thousands of motorcycles will come through St. Augustine on their way to Daytona Beach for Biketoberfest, from Oct. 15 to Oct. 18, and then for the Florida Hog Rally in St. Augustine Beach from Oct. 21 to Oct. 24.
Good said he and his staff have been giving restaurants a chance to advertise with them. He said advertising costs $250 and the business’ coupons and information gets put in a packet for all registered riders at the event. “$250 is darn cheap advertising,” Good said. “Some people missed a big opportunity.”
The main Harley Davidson store hasn’t opened on Mondays for the last six months due to dwindling customer numbers but will reopen for Mondays in October.
Good hopes to sell T-shirts and merchandise and said, “There is a chance we might sell a bike.”
Motorcycle salesperson Greg Wolfenbarger expects October to be a good sales month. He sold 35 bikes in 2007 but only averages eight bikes a year now.
Harley Davidson shops across the country are going under and in 2010 they are cutting back by 45,000 bikes.
“We’ve hit bottom and started to recover,” Wolfenbarger said.