D&S Harley-Davidson looking to rebuild shop and community

MEDFORD, Or.- The Almeda fire destroyed dozens of locally-owned businesses, including the only Harley-Davidson location in southern Oregon.

It’s clear the store and it’s recovery is very important to the Rogue Valley’s motorcycle community.

“This is pretty desolate looking.” Longtime D&S Harley-Davidson customers Maureen and Curt swift are still shocked by the damage left behind after the Almeda fire.

The family-owned shop is a staple of Highway 99, on the edge of Medford and Phoenix. It’s also the only Harley-Davidson shop for 150 miles, making it a community hub for bikers.

“Its not just parts and service, it’s a social gathering place,” said owner Terrie Martin. According to her, her family is already looking for new temporary locations.

“It’s going to be tricky because we have to go through the hazmat, the testing for hazardous materials. And then we have to clear it off, and then we start the design process. It’s going to take us a long time.”  Martin says a new temporary location still needs approval from Harley-Davidson.

“I’m looking forward to getting back, even in the temporary location. But once we rebuild and get right back to where we started. Just to get the normal thing back with everyone coming in,” said sales manager Scott Randol.

The store had 50 bikes in it when it was swallowed by fire, and 40 of them were customer owned. But Randol says he’s staying plenty busy.

“I talked to a customer just yesterday over email and he said, ‘You know, you’re a good man, thank you for talking to me about my bike’,” Randol said.

That sort of family atmosphere is one of the things the Swifts love so much about D&S. They say no matter how long it takes to come back the community will be there.

“One day we will be back in this spot and it won’t look quite as deserted as it does now,” the Swifts said about the destruction.

D&S Harley-Davidson will celebrate their 50th year of business next may. It’s been at its current location for a decade.

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