Gailís vision started years ago and now itís a reality. The plan for her new facility had been in the works long before the groundbreaking ceremony that took place on Feb 9, 2004. Her sparkling new 55,000 square foot complex, the largest dealership in the Midwest, officially opened for business on Nov 6, 2004. Gailís Open House on November 26 and 27, 2004 was a very memorable event, but as it turns out, the real party had not yet begun!
From the Feel the Power web site: The comment has been, 'Wow what a big beautiful dealership.' Now they will be saying, 'Wow what a big celebration.' The sky is the limit to this Open House!
On April 2, 2005, Gail hosted the largest grand opening for a Harley-Davidson dealership this area has ever seen! The weather was perfect and an estimated 10,000 people participated in the event. There were so many people that local law enforcement had to control traffic at the intersection of Highway150, US 71 and the dealership entrance.
Live musical entertainment was provided throughout the day by the bands Ice Cold, and Racy Grace. Custom cars were on display from the South 71 Cruises car club, several vendors were spread throughout the parking lot, and radio stations 610 Sports, 98.1 KUDL and 99.7KY were there to cover the event. People also crowded around the new and expanded Dyno shop to watch the torque and horsepower gauges rise as big bore machines were wound up. For the kids, there was the inflated Moon Walk, balloon artists, caricature artists, a sparkle tattoo artist and free Frisbees. A large amount of food was served; to the tune of 15,000 hamburgers and hot dogs! Believe it or not, the sky wasnít the limit! An Apache helicopter was brought in for display and the Skydive Kansas City team performed jumps.
Probably the most exciting entertainment though was the Harley Stunts team. If youíve not seen these riders, youíve missed out! The back lot was blocked off for their exhilarating demonstrations. With fine tuned, high powered, customized Sportsters and Buells, local riders Jeff Schneider and Aaron Cline performed a variety of amazing wheel stands, burnouts, power skids and many other challenging and daring feats. Black clouds rolled off the rear wheels and the smell of burnt rubber filled the air. They are an intensely exciting couple of riders and the crowd loved their performances.
This Grand Opening event was as gigantic as this gleaming new facility! Even with the volume of people present for the celebration, it was still amazingly accessible insideóa tribute to the new open floor plan. Bike serviceability has improved, and with 20 new bays, you should have very minimal wait for service. Should you be in for just a quick fix, take advantage of the customer lounge area, complete with cushy chairs, Internet accessible PCs, a pool table, a large plasma TV and hot coffee. On Saturdays, warm Otis Spunkmeyer chocolate chip cookies (my favorite!) are served. Did I mention bikes? Oh yeah! Well, there is a significantly larger showroom to display more than 75 of the latest H-D models. And you still have room to walk between them!
This is a place where you can enjoy yourself. Just drop in sometime, strike up a conversation with fellow riders or staff members, wander along the walls of custom parts, shop in the clothing area or evaluate the newest big twins and Sportsters. You wonít be disappointed. Gailís new facility is a showcase that Harley enthusiasts will enjoy for years to come. Being part of this Grand Opening celebration is something you can share with your grandkids when you bring them in for their first Harley!
Story by Nic
Photos provided by Roger Fleener, with aerial photo by Michael Mihalevich