Honda shop splits at former bowling alley

The Honda dealership is now sharing space with Polaris and Victory.

The former bowling alley that houses Hollister Honda is being divided and will soon begin offering Polaris, Victory and an as-yet-undisclosed brand as Marty Greenwood looks to make the sales venture more profitable.

“We took the building and put a wall right down the center to bring in more product lines,” said Greenwood, who owns Greenwood Chevrolet, just up San Felipe Road from Hollister Honda. “Honda has had an agreement since 1999 that they’re exclusive (to that building), but our whole purpose is to bring more activity to that facility. We’ve done what we can do in this community, but we needed more to get the store on the path to more profitability.”

Polaris is known for its two-, four- and six-seat all-terrain vehicles that are popular with off-road enthusiasts and farmers. The Victory line is an American-made motorcycle line.

“It’s bringing in a whole crew of people that wouldn’t normally come in to the Honda store,” Greenwood said, noting that there has already been an upswing in floor traffic since the Polaris dealership unofficially opened in May. A new sign along San Felipe will notify motorists of the expanded product lines.

Greenwood said he and his partners negotiated with Honda to divide the building to bring in other products.

“We all know what happened economically in 2008-2009,” he said. “Because of this environment we’re now in economically, we went to Honda and stated our plan. Through several meetings, we’re just about 90 percent complete and moving forward. We treat our relationships with manufacturers as a partnership in which both sides need to be profitable. In the end they work.”

Polaris and Victory will be sold under the Hollister Powersports name on the south side of the building, with Hollister Honda remaining on the north side.

“We want to build a destination spot for Hollister to get more people here to our town and our company,” Greenwood said.

The refurbishment of the 22,000-square-foot former Good Times Bowl was funded by two Hollister Redevelopment Agency loans totaling $1.9 million. The city in 2009 extended the loan repayment terms by two years and last summer extended the payback by another two years to help the business weather the current financial climate and become profitable.

City officials estimate monthly loan repayment terms will be at least $10,000 per month, once they begin.

Development Services Director William Avera said the dividing of the building does not change the terms of Greenwood’s deal with the city.

“From our perspective, the real issue is the value of the building itself is nowhere near what it was,” Avera said. “They’re pretty far upside down, so anything that makes it more lucrative is better for us.”

Attracting more customers could mean more sales and, therefore, more sales tax revenue for the city, officials said.

“For us, sales is the key part for the city,” Avera said. “Now that there’s another product line in there, Honda will sell the same amount of units whether they have half the space or not. We should see some increased sales tax dollars from this.”

Leave your comments