Portland Harley-Davidson dealer moving to Buxton

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BUXTON — Big Moose Harley-Davidson is gearing up to move to Buxton next year.

The motorcycle dealership, owned by Steve Reynolds, has been a fixture at 375 Riverside St. for 21 years. Celebrities have shopped and bought Harleys there, including actress Glenn Close; Zoe Zanidakis, the Monhegan Island lobster woman who was a “Survivor” TV show contestant; race car driver Bentley Warren, and U.S. Sen. Angus King.

With such memories in his rear view mirrors, Reynolds, 54, his Big Moose dealership and its 28 employees are planning to hit the road for a homecoming of sorts.

“I’m a Buxton boy,” Reynolds, a native of the town and a graduate of Bonny Eagle High School in 1980, said. He’s the third generation in the motorsports business, following his father, Calvin Reynolds, 79, owner of Reynolds Motorsports, which Steve’s grandfather, Jack Reynolds, founded in 1963, on Waterman Road in Buxton.

Reynolds said the move to Buxton would benefit Big Moose customers, many of whom live outside of the city.

“We hope to open up in the spring of 2018,” Reynolds said Monday in his office about a new Buxton facility. “Everything is on schedule.”

Keith Liberty of Arundel, Big Moose general manager, said, “(Buxton) is more of a destination for people.”

The project has been introduced to the town and Buxton Planning Board in a pre-application discussion. The project requires approval from the town’s Business Review Committee prior to a Planning Board public hearing, according to Krystal Dyer in the town’s planning office.

Reynolds plans on going to the Planning Board on Monday, April 24. Bill Thompson of BH2M, a Gorham engineering firm, will represent Reynolds.

The project will be on Route 202 near the intersection with Route 22 in the business commercial district. It’ll be on a 4-acre parcel that Reynolds describes as a “nice spot.”

It will sit between the Doughnut Hole Cafe and Reynolds Motorsports.

Proposed plans call for a single story, 17,250-square-foot building. Reynolds described it as a metal building with a “beautiful face.” The project also will include a 5,000-square foot warehouse. Patco of Sanford is the general contractor and Port City Architects will design the exterior. The interior design  requires approval from Harley Davidson.

The new location will provide a rider’s course to benefit those people who want to acquire licenses.

The building in Portland is for sale but, if sold before a move to Buxton, Liberty said Big Moose business would not be interrupted.

The Portland location has generated decades of memories for Steve Reynolds. He’s been going  there for 38 years, since age 16.

Reynolds recalled working there for a former motorcycle dealership and later as an employee at the same location for his father before launching out on his own.

Now, he’s focusing on relocating Big Moose. “It should be a boost to the economy in Buxton,” Reynolds said.

Big Moose contributes to multiple charities. An open house with a band, barbecue and beer will be held April 29 to benefit Bikers Against Child Abuse.

Robert Lowell can be reached at 854-2577 or rlowell@keepmecurrent.com.

Steve Reynolds, left, owner of Big Moose Harley-Davidson, and Keith Liberty, general manager, will move the business to Buxton from Portland next year.