With no local Ducati presence for almost three years, Richmond Ducati manager Jamie Nicholls said it was high time the Italian motorcycle brand returned to Lulu Island.
This Saturday, Aug. 24 marks the official grand opening of the 2,000 square-foot store, at 2145- 21000 Westminster Hwy, that combines retail space, a showroom and a full service area manned by a certified Ducati master technician.
"We had a soft opening Feb. 15, we've been open and operating for six months," said Nicholls.
"What's different now is we're done the renovation process - we had a team from Ducati come in and literally measure every square-inch of the building. They took that info and sent it to Italy where their design team put together Ducati identity fixtures for us. They were built in Italy and shipped over here."
Everything from the art-adorned walls to the red shelving to the brand new themed coffee bar hint at the company's Italian racing pedigree.
Nicholls said the redecorating is one of the perks of being a Ducati-exclusive dealership, unlike the other three businesses located in Vancouver, Kelowna and Vancouver Island that carry other manufacturers' products.
After the now-defunct Richmond Motorsports, that also used to carry the brand, shut down, he said there was a public outcry to bring something back.
"Ducati North America started getting inundated with phone calls and emails from people in the area who used to have bikes purchased and serviced in the Richmond area," said Nicholls, who is a motorcycle mechanic by trade. He originally became involved with the company after receiving a call from one of the shareholders whom he knew from his days at the racetrack.
Doors on Aug. 24 open at 9 a.m, and The Beat 94.5 FM will be broadcasting live from 3 p.m. until closing.
There will also be a barbecue and prizes given out throughout the day, with a grand prize of a brand new Pirelli rear tire with free mount and balance. Visit www.ducati-richmond.com for more information.
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