30/30: Colorado Powersports

With over 15 years of business under its belt and an extensive collection of motocross bikes, motorcycles, scooters, ATVs, snowmobiles, and a plentiful selection of riding apparel for each of the sports, it is fair to say that when it comes to all things motor powered, Colorado Powersports is a reliable go to. The shop has locations in both Denver and Boulder and, in accordance with the colorful Colorado climate, offers machinery and gear for all four seasons.

TransWorld Business paid Colorado Powersports’s Boulder location a visit to catch up with the shop’s general manager and president, Kurt Finley, and Sales Consultant Damon Michaels to get the word on how the motorsports business has changed over the years and with the seasons.

Opening up shop in 1998, Finley started with five shops across Colorado’s front range before consolidating down to the Denver and Boulder locations. These two shops, while differing in size with the latter of the two being a bit larger than its sister shop, offer a comparable range of goods and report similar overall sales.

When we caught up with the crew, they were preparing for the last few months of showcasing motorcross inventory before giving the shop a makeover, and replacing summer goods with winter equipment. When winter begins rolling in, the folks at Colorado Powersports replace much of the shop’s bike stock with an extensive selection of snowmobiles. Despite the severe lack of snow that plagued Colorado and much of the rest of the country last season, Michaels says business has remained consistent overall.

“We are fortunate to have a selection of equipment that can be used during all four seasons, so we stay pretty busy all year around,” Michaels reported.

While offering equipment and apparel for all seasons gives Colorado Powersports an advantage, so too does the Boulder shop’s location, especially with motocross crowd. “There are so many tracks in Boulder for people to ride and that definitely helps fuel our sales,” explains Michaels.

Though Colorado Powersports has a varied selection of motocross goods when it comes to bikes, the Japanese brands dominate the shop’s business, with Yamaha and Kawasaki killing it in sales. As far as apparel, Fox, Alpinestars, and Michaels went on to explain how advancements in technology have benefited moto brands as a whole, and in turn, the shop: “As technology develops, we have definitely seen sales of moto bikes and gear increase over the years.”

The evolution in technology is not the only change the folks at Colorado Powersports have observed over their years in business. President Kurt Finley, who got into the business with the premonition of motorsports becoming a growing industry, has been happy to see his premonition realized.

“I got into the business fifteen years ago and the biggest change I have seen is growth,” Finley said. “And, it is happening at much more than just the retail level.”

Colorado Powersports has a significant online presence, in addition to an extensive parts and services department, that help keep the shop afloat when the retail side isn’t flourishing.

“We have a very, very strong online presence that comprises a lot of our business, as it’s sometimes difficult to get the retail store rockin’, even during Christmas time,” explains Finley of the power of diversification.

Like many business owners across the country, the struggling economy has not gone without affecting business at Colorado Powersports, both in sales and potential future ventures.

“The economy has, of course, affected business. With the shape it’s been in, it makes it harder to take risks and it leaves us with a lot of unanswered questions,” Finley said.

As undeniable as it may be that the economy has affected business owners everywhere, entering the doors of Colorado Powersports, one would have no idea that the country is slowly recovering from post-recession trauma, as several customers meander in and out, checking out equipment and trying on apparel.

The demographics of Colorado Powersports are as diverse as its inventory. “Our customers are super varied,” says Michaels. “We get everything from older guys coming in to buy motorcycles, to kids, who are just starting out riding motocross, coming in with their families .”

Finley elaborated, saying that though folks who are interested in purchasing motocross and other motor goods make up a significant portion of Colorado Powersports’s customer base, there is one missing link in the shop’s overall customer demographics: the snowboarding community.

“I think the problem the shop may have getting snowboarders in here is that one of the keys to selling stuff is basically, you have to sell stuff people are looking for. While we don’t sell snowboards or snowboarding apparel, we carry a good amount of snowmobiles and accessories that the snowboarding community might find of interest if they came in. We just have to figure out how to get them in the shop.”

Finley continued, saying, “You have to really understand the market to reach out to the action sports community.”

This is just one of the many challenges facing shop owners looking to extend their customer base to reach the maximum number of demographics and sell the most goods. Nonetheless, with two successful shop locations in business and over fifteen years of experience to his name, Finley seems to be sitting pretty happily where he is at. That’s not to say he is settling for the status quo of the shop’s current business.

“Success is a never ending pursuit. As the industry changes over time, so too does the definition of success,” adds Finley.

For more information on Colorado Powersports, check out the shop’s website right here.