Desert Valley Powersports - Prosser, WA

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Desert Valley Powersports

Making it all work

In the days of corporate buyouts of local motorcycle dealers, it’s always nice to sit down with one who is still independently owned.

Dan Denchel owns and operates Desert Valley Powersports in Prosser, Washington.

photo: L to R - Dan Denchel, Dale Niemi

But the store wasn’t always there. The shop's first iteration was in nearby Sunnyside, opening in 1992. Back then it was known as Sunnyside Honda/Polaris.

In 2007, the dealership added Yamaha and Suzuki. In addition, it grew to carry a broad selection of powerboats, quads, and side by sides, making it a virtual candy store for powersports residents on the east side of the state.

Business was booming and Denchel located to his current location in Prosser just off of Interstate 82. Something else was booming too, the Washington Wine industry and before he knew it there were a half dozen wineries opening tasting rooms just down the street in the newly-developed retail area.

All was well until the Great Recession. Denchel and his family managed to make it through the down economy and press on.

As the economy struggled to bounce back, several European manufacturers looked to add market share in the region. Desert Valley had just made it through one of the worst periods in US economic history and that caught the eye of several OEMs. In 2014, the dealership added the BMW mark, and then KTM in 2015.

With so many lines to manage and a growing populous of customers, Denchel was ready to hand the reigns of day-to-day store management over to a skilled hire. In early 2017, long-time Pacific Northwest Powersports veteran Dale Niemi was brought on board.

Denchel is a long-time two-wheel enthusiast clocking in thousands of hours on dirt bikes as a kid, later throwing his passion to the pavement. Over the years he’s been involved in a number of Iron Butt Association events. Freed up to enjoy a few more hours of pleasure riding now, Denchel has recently hatched a plan to bring back a Lawman 1000 ride to the Pacific Northwest this coming summer.

Tom Mehren/June 17

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