A Brief Company History
Since 1903, Harley-Davidson Motor Company, headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has been manufacturing motorcycles that “fulfill dreams” as outlined in their mission statement: “We fulfill dreams through the experience of motorcycling, by providing to motorcyclist and the general public an expanding line of motorcycles and branded products and service in selected market segments.”
Since the 1940s, Harley-Davidson Motor Company has had a retail presence in Southern Nevada. Our community’s first dealer was Earl West. He maintained a small facility downtown on Ogden Street for approximately ten years. Jack Willows and then Bob Knerr, who moved the dealership to First Street, followed Earl. Bob sold the dealership in the late 1960s to R.R. Wilkerson who operated the business until it closed in 1973. Harley regained its presence in Southern Nevada in the late 1970s and, after a few years of operation, the dealership was purchased by Neil and Alana Nelson in 1980. For the first 11 years under Neil’s ownership, it was located on East Fremont (Boulder Highway). Neil employed eight people. In 1991, Neil moved the dealership to 2495 East Sahara Avenue. This 17,000 square foot facility served Neil and his customers well while Harley-Davidson once again gained in popularity.
In 1995, Las Vegas Harley-Davidson saw another change in ownership. Neil’s longtime friend, Don Andress purchased his initial interest in the dealership. A lifetime Las Vegas resident, Don made his mark as a successful contractor and developer in Southern Nevada. Experiencing his first motorcycle ride at age 1-1/2 on his father’s 1937 Harley-Davidson® Flathead, Don has been a life-long motorcycle enthusiast.
In 1996, Tim Cashman, also a native of Las Vegas, joined Don as part owner. Tim’s family pioneered the automotive industry in Nevada with its first dealership in 1910 and that presence has continued for 3 generations. Tim’s interest in motorcycling began at age four when he experienced his first ride, falling off and breaking his leg. In spite of this incident, he was an avid dirt bike rider as a youth. His motorcycle enthusiasm naturally turned to business with this great opportunity and Las Vegas Harley-Davidson.
In 1998, Don and Tim moved Las Vegas Harley-Davidson to 2605 South Eastern Avenue. At that time, the 79,000 square foot location was the largest Harley-Davidson dealership in the world. In May 2004, another full-service store was relocated to Washington, Utah at 2345 North Coral Canyon Boulevard. Nine alternative retail outlets (ARO’s) are located throughout the Las Vegas area including several in hotel/casinos and at McCarran International Airport.
In the fall of 2014, Las Vegas Harley-Davidson moved from the South Eastern location to the fabulous Las Vegas Strip at 5191 Las Vegas Boulevard South, across from the Welcome to Las Vegas sign. This continued commitment to elevate the Las Vegas Harley-Davidson brand is shown by our investment in this state-of-the-art facility in the heart of Las Vegas’ 40 million visitors per year.
Since late 2018, John Morotti and Dennis Bearden operate the four dealerships in Las Vegas and the surrounding communities under the holding company, Southern Nevada Powersports Group, Inc. Morotti’s dealership experience runs deep as owner of Superstition Harley-Davidson in Apache Junction, Ariz., near the origination of U.S. Highway 70, and Mother Road Harley-Davidson and Route 66 Motorsports in Kingman, Ariz., located on the famed Route 66 highway. He also owns Tobacco Road Harley-Davidson and Triumph Raleigh, located on U.S. Highway 70 in downtown Raleigh, also known as the original “Tobacco Road” of N.C.
Las Vegas Harley-Davidson is the proud recipient of many awards. We have eight Harley-Davidson Bar & Shield Circle of Excellence awards including one Gold (2003), three Silver (2007, 2008, 2017) and four Bronze (2002, 2009, 2010, 2013); the 2002 Harley-Davidson Promoter of the Year; 2003 Buell Pegasus Award; 2003 DealerNews Top 100 Dealer Award and the 2003 Muscular Dystrophy Association Humanitarian of the Year Award.