New River Gorge Harley-Davidson in Hico will close its doors on June 26, the company announced in a press release Tuesday afternoon. The move comes after 17 years of operation at the U.S. Rte. 60 location.
"We'd like to thank our amazing staff for their strength and dedication as we move through this transition," Dennis Di Filippo, dealer principal, said in the release.
In a phone call on Tuesday afternoon, Di Filippo called it a sad day. "It's a heartbreaking (decision)," he said. Fayette County is "a wonderful county" with "wonderful people," he said. County officials have always been cooperative through the years, he noted.
Store employees have all been "invited to come to South Charleston to work," Di Filippo said. That includes him, and he says he will make the move.
The company enjoyed profitable years in Hico early on, he said, but business has slowed in recent years. The downturn had its roots with the financial crisis of 2007-08, he said, and decreases in profitability continued "until we had to pull the plug."
Another more recent crisis of a different kind, the Covid-19 pandemic, did not give the situation room to improve. "Covid has really socked it to us," Di Filippo said.
"I have no complaints," he added.
The store will liquidate all in-stock inventory, including T-shirts, leathers, parts and accessories. Motorcycle inventory and service operations will move to the Kanawha Valley location, Harley-Davidson of West Virginia, which is located at 4924 MacCorkle Avenue in South Charleston.
"We are very grateful to the Hico community for 17 years of business," Di Filippo said. "It has been our honor to be a part of this community and we will see you on the road."
For more information, contact Harley-Davidson of West Virginia at 304-768-1600 or visit New River Gorge Harley-Davidson at 25385 Midland Trail in Hico until June 26.