July 30, 09, 3.00 pm EST. It’s with infinite sadness that I inform all of you that Bruce Rossmeyer was killed this morning around 11.15 am, local hour, near Rock Springs, Wyoming while riding his motorcycle with a group of 5 friends. The group was riding from Denver, CO to join this afternoon the yearly Hamster’s ride to Sturgis. Although the details of the accident are still sketchy, his riding friends tell me that Bruce Rossmeyer was the last of the group to pass a Recreational Vehicle when apparently this same RV went left in his lane.
Rossmeyer, a long-time Daytona Beach resident, was “retired” from the automobile business when he purchased in January 1994 his first Harley-Davidson dealership in Daytona Beach, Florida. It’s when I met him, his wife and children for the first time. Bruce wanted to do something fun in his retirement and we all know how hugely successful he became in the motorcycle business. Then, he followed with the addition of New Smyrna Harley-Davidson in 1997, Grand Junction Harley-Davidson in 1997, Ft. Lauderdale Harley-Davidson in 1998, Harley-Davidson of Pompano in 2002, and Aspen Valley Harley Davidson in 2002. When the new Ft. Lauderdale facility opened in December 2001, the existing store turned into the police and fleet sales division. In October 2005 he opened “Destination Daytona” in Ormond Beach, FL, the world’s largest Harley-Davidson dealership. Destination Daytona also includes an amphitheater, restaurants, bars, and a huge vending area where, like many of friends of the industry, I have displayed my bikes and parts. The total “Destination Daytona” encompasses over 150 acres. Another South Florida dealership, Sunrise Harley-Davidson was completed by the end of 2006 in Sunrise. In February 2006, Bruce purchased Southern Thunder Harley-Davidson located in Horn Lake, MS. He also owned 3 Harley-Davidson stores.
More important than the Harley-Davidson empire that he created, Bruce Rossmeyer was always supportive of all those, small or big companies, making a living in this business, with a special affection he had for all Artists and Custom Builders of the industry. In addition he was an extremely active communitarian and a huge benefactor of a great number of charities
Bruce was 66 years old. He is survived by his wife Sandy, five children (Mandy, Wendy, Randy, Will & Shelly) all involved in his businesses, and seven grandchildren. My deepest condolences to all his family, associates and friends.
Update 07/30/09, 10.20 pm EST. The Wyoming Highway Patrol says that Rossmeyer and 5 other bikers were headed east on Highway 28 in Sweetwater County, WY when they were trailing a Ford pickup truck pulling a 2-axle camper style trailer. The truck driver Robert L. VanValkenburg, 73, of Rock Springs, WY, slowed down and began making a left turn and Rossmeyer tried to pass him when they collided. The highway patrol report states that Rossmeyer was not wearing a helmet and that VanValkenburg’s truck and camper turn signals and brake lights were working at the time of the crash.