Its GO Time in AZ! – H-D Scottsdale

Its GO Time in AZ!

Story by DangerousJames

See the article in the Quick Throttle Magazine May issue.

See the Arizona Bike Week Photo Gallery.

It was Sunday, March 25th, 2012, the last day of the weekend of the AZBW Pre-Rally Days. There’s usually not a whole lot going on other than some local parties, maybe a run. This year, though, was different. This year, it was a day of celebration… to celebrate a new beginning. A day to welcome a new player to the game, a new member to the family. That’s right, Harley-Davidson, GO AZ Motorcycles and the riders of Scottsdale were welcoming their new dealership and celebrating their Grand Opening!

And what a Grand Opening it was! The event started at Noon and went until almost Midnight! There was food, drink and some product tents set up on the north side of the dealership, and in the back lot was a full size, concert stage set up for the bands, complete with a VIP Nest.

The entertainment started at 6:00 with Valley local favorite, The Crown Kings. These guys are definitely one of the best rock & roll cover bands in town. If you haven’t seen them, you need to change that and quickly, ‘cause you is missin’ some killer music. The Kings rocked it as one would expect, but as the night wore on, the crowd was growing quick in anticipation of the headline act. Once the Kings wrapped up, there was a slight intermission, then our very own Jack Schit, brought up a big surprise… Bob Parsons, the man himself. The Founder of Go Daddy and now, the man behind GO AZ Motorcycles and Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale.

It’s no wonder that this guy has accomplished what he has. You can sense his power just being in proximity of him. He came out on stage with great presence…clearly very proud of his new venture and what they’ve already accomplished in less than 90 days. He told us that “We’re not here for a long time, but here for a good time!” He also told us that he is committed to mak- ing this dealership the best in the Country. I have no doubt that this man will achieve that and more.

After a brief welcome and thank you, it was Bob who got to introduce the headline act, Bret Michaels. Bret was awesome and delivered a high powered show with some of his originals added in with most of everyone’s Poison favorites.

It has been estimated that the dealership had over ten thousand visitors throughout the day. I was only there for the shows and there were easily over five thousand there to see Bret. A great Grand Opening Party. While the event was completely off the hook, as the amazing photos taken by Juli Salvante show, it was definitely a fine way to wrap up the AZBW Pre-rally Days and get us all primed for what turned out to be one the best bike weeks in recent history.

It was after the party that I got to sit down with the new General Manager, Justin Johnson, to discuss the new attitude, the new direction and the vision for the future.

First and foremost, the new ownership’s objective was to change the overall culture of the dealership in Scottsdale. If you have ever dealt with GO Daddy, you know how important Customer Service is to them and how their business model works. Justin says that Bob is all about being the best at what he does and believes that if you deliver the best product and the best service, then why would anyone go anywhere else? And that’s exactly the posture of the new team at HD of Scottsdale.

Apparently, Bob is a HUGE motorcycle enthusiast! Who knew? He has mul- tiple bikes, of many makes and rides on a regular basis. “All the time” Justin says, “And he is all about cool in his taste.” It was nearly 2 years ago that Bobstarted buying up other dealerships and properties in the neighborhood, slowly but surely, creating the GO AZ Motorcycle family. He finally got the final piece of the puzzle finalized in January, when he acquired the HD dealership. It sounds, though, that he’s not quite done…

If you haven’t visited since January, then you really need to make the time to drop by and visit because you will feel the new “vibe” as soon as you walk through the door. There is definitely an easily recognized buzz that you will not miss. Justin and his team have worked very hard to make this culture shift, make some minor physical changes, including the increase in merchandise, in such a short amount of time. Justin is very proud of the team he has assembled. If you’re a regular, there are some familiar faces such as Judi Almeida, who has been here for over 10 years, yet there are plenty of new faces too. “I’d put my team up against any team on the planet” Justin beams. “I’m very impressed with what we have accomplished so far”.

Hold onto your seats, my fellow two-wheeled friends, because what I am about to share with you is simply going to blow your minds.

Bob and his GO AZ Team have some incredible plans for the future, not only for the HD dealership, but for the entire surrounding area, soon to be known as the GO AZ Campus.

They are currently building the new corporate home of GO AZ Motorcycles, as well as a new, two acre, state-of-the-art, testing and training facility. Not only will it be the only one of its kind in the Country, as it will be designed for practicality and complete safety. It will have its own two-story, fully functional, multi-media ready classrooms and conference meeting rooms.

Here’s the cool part, the facility takes up about two acres, 75,000 square feet of land, at grade level, or what you will be able to see. There will also be 75,000 square feet of UNDERGROUND area that will house their service and storage facility!

You read right! They are designing, the first of its kind, an underground serv- ice and storage facility so that when you bring your bike in for service, it will ALWAYS be in a controlled environment! Is that freakin’ cool or what? Only the mind who founded GO Daddy could think of something like this. The sub-grade facility will be integrated with the entire campus so it will service ALL the dealerships-and get this-they will be offering short and long term storage of bikes. Awesome!

The existing building will be getting its own face-lift too. They are going to add on to the front, out towards the corner, including a covered patio for meeting areas, to facilitate ride staging, etc. They have purchased the building directly behind the dealership where they will be adding a collision center, as well as other service functions. The existing service area is getting completed redesigned that will make it state-of-the-art as well.

The big picture is to create a destination, not just a place to buy a bike or have your bike serviced. “We want to be a hang-out” Justin adds. “We want to be included in everyone’s riding plans – like, we’re going to ride out to Fountain Hills, but let’s meet at HD of Scottsdale.”

The more I hung out with Justin, the more I just wanted to stay! This guy gets it. No wonder Bob hired him. He is all about the customer, making us happy and being the best at it. Very refreshing.

Justin comes to us from Wyoming. He’s been working for HD dealerships for over 20 years and the Road Glide is his favorite. He was introduced to Bob through a mutual friend and he says that that they hit it off immediately.

“When you buy a Harley, it’s an event” he says in a serious tone. “People save their money for years to buy a Harley. It’s a big deal and we want to acknowledge that when a customer buys a bike from us”.

If you have never been or haven’t been in a long while, you are certainly missing out on an amazing experience and one that is only sure to get better, and I don’t know about you but I can’t wait to see this place once it is all finished!

STAY TUNED!!!

See the article in the Quick Throttle Magazine May issue.

See the Arizona Bike Week Photo Gallery.

 

 

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