By Bud Wilkinson of RIDE-CT.com
When the website for Burt Ives Honda in Columbia, CT shut down in April, and word circulated that a deal between owner Ken Ives Sr. and his son, Ken Ives Jr. (aka “Kenny”), to pass along the business wasn’t going to happen, it looked like the end of the line for the motorcycle shop that dates back to the early 1930s and which has sold Hondas for 51 years.
While the store quietly remained open for service work, no new Honda motorcycles appeared on the showroom floor. They will be showing up soon, though. Thanks to the negotiating help of lawyers and others, Kenny is now on the verge of acquiring Burt Ives Honda. He said today that he hopes to close on the deal “probably within the next two to three weeks.”
All that remains for the deal to be wrapped up is for inventory to be done and the actual closing. The business will then continue. “Same exact location, same name, same everything,” Kenny said. Kenny, who already owns Chaplin Kawasaki in Chaplin, CT., plans to spruce up Burt Ives Honda and “put a little love in the showroom.” The parking lot and roof will get some attention, too.
Burt Ives first opened a motorcycle business in Willimantic, CT in 1931 and moved to the current location on Route 66 in 1934. A longtime Harley-Davidson dealer, Ives has sold Hondas since 1962. Ken Sr. bought the dealership from Burt Ives in the late 1970s.
Kenny added that a website for Burt Ives Honda will be back online soon. “That will be the first thing that I do when we have a closing on the property,” he said. Keeny also said he also plans to have an area in the dealership devoted to old pictures dating back to the early days.