VAIL MILLS - Glenn Schmidt watched as the new dealership was being built. Twice a day, he drove by as the building began to take shape. And every week, he took a photo from the same spot chronicling the new building's development.
Last Tuesday, the general manager of Adirondack Harley-Davidson opened the store's new location to the public.
"The new store came about as a requirement from Harley," Schmidt said. "We chose this location so we could tap into some of the Saratoga market."
The new Adirondack Harley-Davidson dealership is shown in Broadalbin on Wednesday.
The Leader-Herald/Mike Zummo
Schmidt described Tuesday's opener as a "zoo," with barely enough time for him or any of his staff to catch their breath. In anticipation of the opening, in July, the business spent a lot of money on buying new products with which to fill the new location.
The business sells not only motorcycles, but Harley-Davidson apparel, and now has a large service area. It also contains a parts warehouse in the back along with winter storage space for up to 150 motorcycles.
Right now, the store sits immediately to the west of a construction zone, as New York state is turning the intersection of Routes 29 and 30 in Vail Mills into a roundabout. However, the sign with the familiar black and orange logo is visible from the intersection, especially coming from Johnstown on Route 29.
"Visibility from the road was definitely something we wanted," Schmidt said.
The new store is about 25,000 square feet, larger than the previous location on South Main Street in Gloversville. Schmidt also said 21 people work at Adirondack Harley-Davidson, nearly double the number of staff from a year and a half ago, he said.
Schmidt said the new facility keeps everything on the same floor, where at the old site, the business was divided over two levels.
"Product flow is easier and we have a lot more space." Schmidt said.
He also said the new facility is much more of a destination.
"We're going to be able to wow everyone," Schmidt said. "Harley riders will ride a great distance to check out a new store."
The store had previously been known as Van's Harley-Davidson before former owners Jim and Paul Valovic decided to retire in 2008. Upon their retirement, the business was sold to the Carbone Auto Group and renamed Adirondack Harley-Davidson in recognition of the park a few miles to the north.
Since construction started last November, Schmidt has been in and out of it constantly, and watched it get built.
"There was a great deal of anticipation," Schmidt said. "As it was built, we were watching small changes, so that was exciting to see."
A grand-opening event is planned at the new facility on Oct. 1. Schmidt said most of the details of the celebration are still in the works, but said it will be a "big event."
Mike Zummo is the business editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.