When the Trek Bicycle Store opened in Wausau eight years ago, it was only the second one like it in the state. Started by a former Trek employee, the stores aren’t directly owned by the Wisconsin-based Trek manufacturer, but part of a strong relationship between the stores’ owner, Randy Bailey, and his former employer.
B.C. Kowalski/City Pages
John Nowaczyk at the Trek Store in Wausau
John “Nacho” Nowaczyk, manager of Trek Bicycle Store in Wausau, says the retail store company is about to open its fourth location in Stevens Point.
By next spring, that retail store count could kick up to four.
Trek Bicycle Store is planning to open in Stevens Point in the spring, says Wausau store manager John “Nacho” Nowaczyk, who will help train the employees and manager of the new Point location. The shop is planned for a storefront on Hwy. 10 on the east side of Stevens Point, in the same building as Buffalo Wild Wings next to Target. The space will be much smaller than the Wausau location, Nowaczyk says, but will feature a more specialized product selection.
What’s driving the move? With no Trek dealer in the area, adding a Trek Store in the Stevens Point market made sense, Nowaczyk says.
Stevens Point isn’t without its bike shops. Hostel Shoppe is a huge bike store in the Portage County Business Park, where it expanded from its downtown storefront. The Hostel Shop’s main business is recumbent bicycles, in which riders lay down instead of sitting upright on the bike.
There’s also Campus Bikes, right near the corner of the UW-Stevens Point campus; and Point Area Bike Services, or PABS, a repair service-heavy shop in Stevens Point’s downtown that offers a handful of new bikes alongside many used bikes. Its owner hosts group bike rides that attract more than 75 people on crazy midnight treks through the Stevens Point streets.
The Stevens Point Trek Store is poised to stand out, Nowaczyk says. The chain prides itself on service, with fast turnarounds for repairs, a vitally important part of what a bike shop does, Nowaczyk says. The Trek Store, which is hiring for the Stevens Point location right now, looks for employees who are dedicated to service even more than being a bike geek. “I ask during interviews, ‘Are you prepared to work during the times when you would want to be riding?’ We work so others can ride,” Nowaczyk says.
Trek Bicycle Stores began in Green Bay, where there are now two locations (a second opened in spring of this year).
The organization also hopes to get more involved with the Stevens Point community, Nowaczyk says, by hosting bike rides like slow rolls and helping out with other planned biking events. In Wausau, for example, Nowaczyk is helping to plan Open Streets, a festival-like event slated for next year in downtown Wausau in which an entire street area is blocked off.
Nowaczyk says the Trek Store’s two best selling bikes are both hybrid bikes perfect for riding both trails and streets. That should make them the perfect store to sell bikes to ride the Green Circle Trail, the 27-mile loop that traverses Stevens Point area.
“We decided it’s a great move into a college town, and the existing cycling base is strong,” Nowaczyk says. “We think we can bring something new.”