If there’s anything that the good folks at Harley-Davidson of Valparaiso and Harley-Davidson of Michigan City love almost as much as their favorite Milwaukee-based brand of two-wheeled road rumblers, it would have to be decorating for the holidays. Each year, they spend hours decorating their stores with tinsel and glitter in preparation of the holidays and their annual Ladies Night to kick off the holiday season.
However, with current restrictions and efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, their usual plans are on hold. Nonetheless, their Christmas spirit remains and shines through as the team at Harley-Davidson welcomes everyone to stop by their stores to garner a bit of pre-holiday cheer. Stop in at either location to shop for just the right gift for the motorhead in your life, or for yourself; it’s ok, they won’t judge.
Tee Bettelyoun, motor clothes manager and local resident, happily greets customers as they enter the Michigan City store.
“You meet a lot of interesting people. The Harley brand appeals to people from all walks of life, from doctors to truck drivers, they all come here, so you can meet a wide range of people and personalities, and I love the diversity,” Bettelyoun said.
“You want a warm, caring, good-hearted group of people? Go to a Harley shop. They come together and they work together to help each other and to help their community. They’re always willing to pull together and pitch in,” continued Bettelyoun.
There’s a feeling of family that echoes throughout the dealership.
“We have a really good team here,” said Office and Finance Manager at the Michigan City store Katlyn Slater. “We fit together, we have fun working together, and we also love our customers.
Slater, a La Porte native, should know as she has gathered more than thirteen years of service at dealership.
“Bikes are not a necessity. No one needs a bike, but they ride because they enjoy it and they love what they do,” said Slater. “Some of them have been wanting to get a bike for a while, waiting until they felt that they were in the right time of their lives to start riding, or to get back into it, and we’re happy to be part of that. Riding is a lifestyle and we’re happy to help them make their dreams come true.”
Once you’ve picked out your new Harley-Davidson, the next step is to make it your own with accessories and customizations, and that’s where Deena Boyd, service advisor at the dealership, comes in. Deena owns and rides a 2006 HD 1200 Sportster that is heavily customized.
“It’s got a lot of extras on it, custom paint job, stage 2 kit, bars, seat, pretty much everything. There’s not much left on it, that's stock,” Boyd said.
Although a recent addition to Harley-Davidwon of Michigan City, Boyd is no stranger to the job, having worked as a service advisor at other dealerships for over a decade. For her, the most rewarding thing is making sure her customers are happy with their bikes when they walk out the door.
“When we can meet their needs and make them happy, that’s a beautiful thing. That makes everything worth it,” Boyd said.
Moving down to the Valparaiso store, visitors there are sure to recognize Motor Clothes Manager and Event Coordinator Ginger Misch. With her 23 years of service to the dealership, it’s safe to say that Misch knows her customers, and her product, extremely well. She’s partial to the Harely-Davidson Street Bob.
“I love that bike! It sits low and it’s just so comfortable,” Misch said.
“From the very first day I walked in the doors here, I felt like this is where I belonged. There’s nothing else like it. Harley people are my family and this place is my home.”