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Harley dealer motoring to Tifton

ALBANY, Ga. -- Officials with Harley-Davidson confirm that the Albany dealership will be moving to Tifton.

The move will take place Oct. 1, at which time the Albany-Harley Davidson/Buell location at Old Dawson Road will close and the dealership will be combined with the one currently in Tifton to create a Premier Harley-Davidson Superstore.

Officials with the company had been considering moving the dealership to the vacant American Outdoor Adventures facility on U.S. Highway 82 in Leesburg.

The Tifton dealership benefits from being located adjacent to Interstate 75, and attracts numerous customers from the Harley-Davidson riders who travel along the major highway.

"We are proud to continue to serve our customers with staff that is dedicated and loyal, and (customers) will receive the same consumer experience that they are used to seeing day in and day out," Holly Neal Ford, marketing and promotion director at Creek Harley-Davidson, said.

"There is limited staff impact with a majority of the staff moving to Tifton or elsewhere in the organization. We will continue to give support, trust, and loyalty to our customers, community, family, and friends who believe in our dealership.

The Tifton and Albany dealerships both fall under the Creek Harley-Davidson umbrella, as does the Mountain Creek Harley-Davidson in Dalton and the Thunder Creek Harely-Davidson in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Combining resources will help Harley-Davidson to be better equipped to hold the best and most up-to-date inventory, thereby better serving customers, officials say.

"I'm ready to move Albany Harley-Davidson and combine our resources with Tifton Harley-Davidson; we have been a fixture in this town for several years, but I believe that we can better serve our consumers in a state-of-the-art facility in Tifton," said Kevin Sewell, general manager of the Albany dealership, in a statement.

"This move will bring both growth and opportunity to Southwest Georgia. See y'all in Tifton."

Albany Harley-Davidson/Buell was opened at its present location in late 2000 by Charlie Hough of Sarasota, Fla. as Flint River Harley-Davidson. In June 2007, Martin Wilson and Vivian Smith bought Flint River Harley Inc. -- which included the Albany dealership -- from Hough.

The facility in Tifton, located at 49 Casseta Road, measures 29,597 square feet and has a second-story event deck. Tifton Harley-Davidson will offer free pick-up and delivery to Albany during the transition.

The Harley's Owners Group (HOG) of both dealerships will be consolidated into the Tifton chapter. The Rider's Edge program for the two dealerships will continue to operate at both the Albany and Moultrie locations.

Ford said the company will be hosting news media at the Tifton site and giving a small tour on Aug. 25 at 10:30 a.m.