Timing was everything for a Waynesburg Yamaha dealership that had its best spring season yet, despite a February fire that caused nearly $1 million in damage.
“We had an outstanding spring,” said Brian Vasko, owner of Waynesburg Yamaha Suzuki KTM on Elm Drive in Franklin Township. “The new building is going up pretty quickly.”
Vasko is rebuilding the main showroom, which burned down Feb. 12. He lost about $250,000 in motorcycles and ATVs and about $600,000 in parts, tools and service equipment. All of it was insured, he said.
“The roof was just totally gone in the showroom,” he said.
Vasko, of Eighty Four, has run the dealership for 15 years. It’s his only location, and he has clients and customers from across Southwestern Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Spring is his busiest season, so the February fire was not only a devastating loss, but also seemingly untimely.
“It could have been much worse,” Vasko said.
No one was inside or injured during the fire, which started after 10 p.m. The state police fire marshal said the fire was not suspicious, but that the cause was to be determined by the insurance company.
The fire didn’t spread to a new addition that had just been completed, thanks to a firewall that had been installed between the old showroom and the addition. Vasko said they’ve been running the business out of that addition, but they’ve had to make modifications. For example, it wasn’t built with the intention of office space, with water or bathroom facilities, but those accommodations had to be made.
“We already had a full construction crew here working on that building,”Vasko said. “So they were able to do that pretty quickly.”
Meanwhile, the burned showroom was leveled, and is being rebuilt.
“We’re going bigger,” Vasko said.
He’s taking it from a 7,000-square-foot building to a 10,800-square-foot building, which will be the main motorcycle showroom. It’s expected to be completed by the end of September, Vasko said.
He said the fire happened just as the addition was being completed, and right before the busiest spring season began in April, giving him enough time and space options to rise from the rubble of a nearly $1 million loss.
“It was definitely a learning experience,” he said. “Nobody told you then that it was going to work out.”