Harley Davidson Breaks Ground in Panama City Beach - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Harley Davidson Breaks Ground in Panama City Beach

Posted: Updated:

Some would say Harley Davidson is much more than a motorcycle.

"It's a brother hood and a sister hood of people that ride bikes," said Bull Pearce.

For the people who sport the brand, some consider it a lifestyle.

"It's male, female, all ages all walks of life," said Preston Farrior.

"When you are selling someone a motorcycle it creates a whole different aura about their life," said Gary Bang. "They plan their vacations around a motorcycle, some people put their motorcycles in their living room, I mean this is how far is goes for some people."

"It is a complete lifestyle," said Panama City Beaches Chamber of Commerce President Beth Oltman. "I mean they rode Harley's in World War I and World War II."

According to Beaches Chamber of Commerce President Beth Oltman, the Harley Davidson complex will strengthen Panama City Beaches economy.

"This is a humongous economic engine for Panama City Beach," said Oltman.

"We plan on serving anywhere from 5,000 to 6,000 bikes a year," said Bang. "Plus all the clothing to go with it: the tires, the accessories. We are going to make this a real destination Harley store.

Harley Davidson also plans to staff their new location with all local assets. Although the project took over six years to get rolling, Oltman says its worth the wait.

"It was like a mecca. People were signing that sign," said Oltman. "Saying 'when are you coming'??"

"We are going to bring people in from Tennessee, from Mississippi, from Alabama, from North Florida," said Bang. "We are going to bring them all up here to come by and spend their tax dollars here. So, it's going to be a big impact for the county and the city of Panama City Beach."

Harley Davidson Vice President Gary Bang says the store is expected to be open for next years spring motorcycle rally. The site is located at the intersection of North Gulf Blvd and Panama City Beach Parkway.