Posts Tagged ‘Utah’

Timpanogos H-D Bronze Sculpture

I’ve written a couple of times about the motorcycle destination resort in Lindon, Utah called Timpanogos Harley-Davidson and its bankruptcy hardship HERE.

Adding insult to injury the embattled dealer was hit by sneaky metal thieves looking for some quick cash.  A 4-ton statue – which cost approximately $100,000 and depicts an old-time speed racing motorcycle and was mounted to a granite block outside the motorcycle shop was stolen over the weekend.  Stating the obvious, Lindon Police Chief Cody Cullimore stated:

“that thieves must have used heavy equipment to ‘make off’ with the statue.”

The days of “tweekers” selling scrap metal for quick cash are over, at least in Oregon.  A new law (SB 570 (.pdf)) which went into effect this year requires everyone transporting metal to get a state certificate (.pdf) and selling scrap metal is no longer possible without detailed information on where the metal was obtained.  In addition sellers will no longer get same day cash for the metal.  They will get checks in the mail after a 3-day waiting period assuming the person has an address!

Metal theft has been problematic in the northwest.  Nothing is off limits it seems from aluminum bleachers at the high schools, bronze grave markers and even railroad spikes.  These people will need to continue to support themselves and I doubt this will cease the acts….but it might make them move to other locations where the hurdles are lower.

UPDATE: January 5, 2009 — The Dealer News blog is reporting that the theft was the result of artist Jeff Decker, who owns Hippodrome Studios and used a crane to remove the statue.  The artwork was listed as an asset of the business, which went through bankruptcy, however, it was not an asset, but instead was loaned to the dealership under a “display” agreement.  The artist simply repossessed the work and it will now be a civil case and not a criminal case.  Also reported was that the dealer originally opened as Monarch Harley-Davidson prior to the owners sinking millions into the place.

Photo courtesy of Timpanogos H-D.

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GM, Rick Story and Owner, Dave Tuomisto

GM, Rick Story and Owner, Dave Tuomisto

It’s starting to look a lot like a “job-less recovery”… and the R-word continues to take a toll as bankruptcy filings nationally surged past the 1 million mark during the first nine months of 2009.  Many states have similar statistics, but in Utah the U.S. Bankruptcy Court received 10,706 bankruptcy petitions in the first nine months of this year — a 62% increase from the same time last year.

And speaking of Utah, the owner of Timpanogos Harley-Davidson (Dave Tuomisto) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month to help stall an acrimonious legal battle over millions of dollars in alleged unpaid debts to several lenders.  I previously blogged on the July 2008 opening of the mega-dealership HERE and it’s unique history after a $16 million renovation complete with green building awards.

The 6-acre complex and building was resort-like and often written about in a very positive profile that focused on Harley-Davidson’s growth strategy, branding efforts, and future opportunities.  Overall, it was a great story and a source of pride as a memorial to the Geneva Steel power plant.  For the city it was a way to talk up the merits of building green and reusing historical icons.  It was like a mini-museum and it’s very unfortunate to witness its rapid fall – again.

As the economy continued to falter, the overextended Mr. Tuomisto structured an agreement with Nu Skin founder Blake Roney (Tupelo Investments LLC) to transfer the dealership to them after getting bailout assistance to keep the dealership’s assets from being seized and shut down by Harley-Davidson Credit Corp.  Tupelo Investments LLC owns the 60,000 square-foot building and the motorcycle-themed restaurant called Marley’s. In bankruptcy court filings the list of creditors include: Harley Davidson Credit, which is owed $4.3 million; Monarch Recreation Sales is owed $760,922; Scrub Oaks is owed $400,000; the Utah State Tax Commission is owed $151,363; and millions more owed to hundreds of other businesses and individuals.

But wait, there’s more… quick to smell a deal, Joe Timmons (Owner of H-D Salt Lake, South Salt Lake) is trying to buy the building which housed Timpanogos H-D.  Likely for pennies on the dollar.

Photo courtesy of H-D.

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Timpanogos Harley-Davidson

Timpanogos Harley-Davidson

Over the past year I’ve made a couple work trips to Orem, Utah (30 min South of Salt Lake City) and I’ve been watching a “new” Harley dealer come on line in the town of Lindon.  The dealership finally opened last Friday, July 25th

It’s not your typical motorcycle dealership.  It’s a three-level building built completely of reclaimed materials from bridges to railroad ties to old pieces of Geneva Steel.  The steel trusses in the ceiling were made in 1903, and the wooden floorboards are weathered from decades of service as roofs of Geneva Steel brick buildings. Geneva Steel was a steel mill located in Vineyard, Utah, founded during World War II to enhance national steel output. It operated from December 1944 to November 2001.

So, Timpanogos Harley-Davidson just off the 1600 North exit on Interstate 15 at 935 N. 1200 West in Lindon is now open!

Dave Tuomisto

Dave Tuomisto

Dave Tuomisto is the owner of the $16 million green building/dealership and memorial to a company that created and propelled the Utah County economy. Dave’s grandfather worked at the Geneva Steel power plant, and his mother was a crane operator there for three years during World War II and why he wanted to do something to preserve the history. Dave is the founder of the Bajio Mexican restaurants, which also explains the dealership gourmet eatery called Marley’s. 

Customers can watch mechanics working on bikes through large windows, which are old train doors. The oldest pieces in the building are sets of trusses from the 1870s, brought in from an old train depot in Ogden. Other sets were salvaged from a Salt Lake City Coca-Cola factory from the early 1900s. The shop has a definite rustic feel.

So, if I get this correct you take a bunch of scrap iron, spend a lot of money and you get to build a really cool Harley dealership that people all over the Northwest are talking about!

The dealership is like a mini-museum and the bonus is doing some great rides on Highway 128, Colorado River Scenic Byway, Alpine Loop and Indian Canyon.

Photos courtesy of Deseret News.

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