A national bicycle company has taken ownership of a bike shop in American Fork, and to celebrate its new owners, the shop is hosting a free, two-day grand opening celebration.
Trek Bicycles has been in American Fork for years, and the nationwide company has four locations scattered around the state. Regional Manager David Van Dyke said the previous owners of the independently owned concept store reached out to the company to potentially take over the store as they were ready to step away.
“It was a well-worn business in a community where we saw a lot of opportunity,” he said. “It made sense for us to acquire that business and turn it into a Trek Bicycle store.”
During the transition, the location only closed its doors for a total of two days for staff retraining and restocking inventory. The company maintained almost all of the original staff as the business changed hands, Van Dyke said.
The biggest changes American Fork residents can expect, he said, is a rebranding and potential building remodels at the end of the busy season, which is expected to start in March.
“One thing we will typically do is stock more of the high-end products than our concept stores would,” he said. “That way, our customers can see a better selection of our high-end products.”
Van Dyke said the shop is perfectly placed, geographically and financially, to be an asset to the American Fork community. One way the Trek location looks to serve Utah County is through the company’s partnership with Utah’s high school mountain bike league National Interscholastic Cycling Association.
Utah has the largest NICA league in the nation, and Trek Bicycling is currently the national sponsor of the organization. The company also works closely with the Utah NICA League.
For NICA student athletes, parents and coaches located in Utah County, the store offers discounts for league members in addition to offering sponsorships for local teams. Store locations are also available for various teams to use for meetings and clinics, including “fix-a-flat” classes and lessons on how to ensure bikes are race ready.
Outside of NICA, Van Dyke said the company is proud that it was able to keep a local bike shop that has been a pillar in the community for so many years from closing. Van Dyke, who currently lives in the Salt Lake City area, said he has been looking for an opportunity to serve the American Fork community for some time.
“It’s been a market that I’m really excited to have one of our Trek-owned stores there,” he said. “There are already a lot of good bike shops in the area. The American Fork and Utah Valley area have always had access to good bike shops in the past; we just want to continue that presence.”
The location is also looking to host regular clinics and events that can help avid cyclists in the area. Van Dyke and the staff at the American Fork location are working with the community to develop a calendar of events that will efficiently serve the community on days and times that are convenient for most residents, he said.
Van Dyke said there will be something going on every month during the busy season. One of the first events the location has planned in the grand opening on March 14 and 15.
Event manager June Kowski said the event is extremely family focused with a number of free events and service clinics throughout the two days. The first 50 guests on each day will receive a free tote bag and $20 in-store credit.
“This is a kick-off for us to introduce ourselves to the market as the new owners of the store,” Kowski said.
Throughout the event, Bicycle Blue Book representatives will also be available to assess trade-in values of attendees’ bikes so customers can potentially get a new bike at a lower cost.
The grand opening will kick off at 8 a.m. on Saturday, where attendees can test ride electric bikes. There will be a meet-and-greet session with local community cycling organizations from 3 to 5 p.m. as well as free silk screen t-shirt making from 3 to 7 p.m. Later that night, there will be a live DJ, a Strava Hill Challenge and bike bingo.
The second day of the grand opening is more clinic-oriented, Kowski said. Beginning at 12:30 p.m., there will be a fix-a-flat clinic followed by a bike maintenance clinic at 1 p.m., a bike washing clinic at 2 p.m., and a handlebar wrapping clinic at 4 p.m.
“Just buying a bike is awesome and great, but having clinics and teaching people how to take care of their bikes is still an important part,” she said. “It’s an investment.”
March 15 will also mark the first Sunday that the business has been open; Trek expects to maintain Sunday hours throughout the busy season.
The shop is expected to offer the full range of Trek Bicycle products, including high-end mountain bikes and electric bicycles, as well as the ability to service all brands with a 24-hour turnaround, which Van Dyke said is harder for independently-owned concept stores to offer.
Van Dyke said the location is currently looking to hire more employees with bicycle or sports retail experience or bicycle technician experience and are accepting applications online and in-store, which is located at 356 N. 750 West in American Fork.