Hitching Post Motorsports
350 17th Ave. North
Hopkins, Minn. 55343
Rick Rosoff opened the first Hitching Post Motorsports location in St. Paul, Minn., in 1969. Over time, he was able to open two more locations, in South St. Paul and Hopkins. Rick died in 1996 and his wife, Sheri, opted to take on the company. Since then, she has opened another store in Coon Rapids and relocated the original St. Paul store to Fridley, which opened in December. Hitching Post carries BMW, Honda, Kawasaki, Polaris, Suzuki, Yamaha and Sea Doo products. Hitching Post Motorsports has 120 employees.
“Constantly staying on top of the market and making sure you have the right product to meet the needs of the customers and continuing to develop and market products to riders,” said Vicki Snowden, marketing and merchandising manager. To that end, the dealership has developed its Total Rider program, which consists of eight motorcycle and dirt bike training classes.
“BMW motorcycles,” Snowden said. “This year they have three new motorcycles hitting the market: the R1200 GS, available in April, the K1200 GT, available in May, and the R1200 S, available in June. The Boulevard line of cruisers continues to be popular.”
CUSTOMER BUYING TRENDS
“Our core customer continues to be male, 34-55, in a double-income household, blue collar,” Snowden said. “There are emerging markets with women. As a group (they) represent 10 to 12 percent of sales. They continue to rise as a segment. They tend to be more academically educated. We also have more first-time young riders.”
PARTS AND SERVICE
Parts and service is the bridge to the long-term customer at Hitching Post. “When customers come in for a motorcycle, it’s not just a relationship with the sales department,” Snowden said. During the height of the riding season, the dealership employs approximately 35 service technicians across all four stores.
PROMOTIONAL HOME RUNS
Every year in mid-July, the dealership hosts a grand opening in all four of its locations, with each store having a different flavor, Snowden said. There are refreshments and a freestyle motocross show, which usually draws lots of families. The event has grown to include children’s areas, demo rides, and riding and industry groups promoting and educating riders who attend.
WORDS OF ADVICE
“This business is really about the rider and getting them on the road and riding well and always having a place they can call their home motorsports dealership,” Snowden said.
— Lisa Young
Copyright 2006 Powersports Business