Business Profile – Reno Motorsports
31.10.2015 Business Profiles
I remember seeing the big RMS circular logo on a friend’s truck back in the late 90’s, wondering what all the hubbub was about.
Why was this shop so revered? What was the big deal?
Fast forward TWENTY years later and ten years inside the industry for this writer, and I finally realize why many people hold this shop so dear; it was, at that time, the only moto store opened to serve the weekend warrior and off-road rider.
Dennis and Paul Ziegler, co-owner, friend and partner, opened the shop, and realized a section of the market had not been tapped in the Reno-Sparks area.
Dennis Belingheri, co-owner of RMS, had this to say,”When we opened in 1996, we definitely saw the need for an off-road shop that catered to the weekend warrior who went out and rode trails. Off-road guys are definitely easier to deal with than say, your typical Harley guy.”
Dennis and Ziggy (as Paul Ziegler is referred to, affectionately) moved here from Las Vegas in the early 90’s. Ziggy was employed by the Reno Hilton (casino marketing) and Dennis was a geologist in Beatty gold mining. Ziggy was burnt out, working at the Hilton (60 hours a week – paid for 40!) and Dennis didn’t want to live in Beatty forever, so the duo laid out a business plan on yellow notebook paper and went for it. At first, they worked two jobs to make ends meet, then went all in, focusing on the shop. Dennis was employed by Kawi Team Green off-road adn tried to keep racing, but the amount of time required to operate the shop successfully, just wasn’t conducive to practice, not to mention the cost of off-road racing.
During this time, Dennis and Ziggy saw a need for an off-road racing series in 1998, establishing MRANN, garnering over 200 riders with their first event. Up until that year, the off-road racing in Northern Nevada was spotty, at best, with the VCGP and the District 36 Fallon face being the only options in the area.
“We wanted to have more races in the area that were local and allow kids to participate (D36 did not have a childrens class IE 50, 65, or 80’s). The first MRANN 80 race was won by Bobby Garrison and 65 was won by Josh Morros (both became pro off-roaders)”, Ziggy told MX775.
Although not a destination motocross shop, Dennis and Ziggy have always understood the need for that side of the business AND STILL HEAVILY EMBRACE IT TODAY.
“We started Mustang motocross, and that sucked, so we decided to get out of it”, exclaimed Dennis.
“Dennis’ answer about RMX (Mustang Motocross) is pretty funny – but it’s true. It sucked because we had families and between off-rad racing, the motocross track and the shop, we had no time for our kids (moto tracks are not easy to run and maintain; it’s tough to break even with $35 dollar entry fees)”, Ziggy said, expounding on Dennis’ point.
Dennis and Ziggy love motocross and understand the need to keep the enthusiast up and racing when it’s needed. Dennis had an interesting anecdote about Gilbert Chick, a local vet motocross racer.
“I have my KX450 to Gilbert to race, because his bike was broke. He raced it anyway, even with the high desert gearing”, Dennis told me with a sense of pride.
(EDITORS NOTE: GILBERT’S 2-STROKE 250 BEING “BROKE” IN A MASSIVE UNDERSTATEMENT! HA!)
RMS is a great place to work, a race shop where you can come, hang out and shoot the breeze. Dennis and Ziggy love to come to work, interact with customers, and it never gets boring for them.
RMS loves its customers and employees and is content with the size of its shop at the moment.
“We have no plans to expand, as we are doing well and happy with out place”, Dennis told me.
Dennis outlined the fact that through expansion, you usually incur additional costs and their place, in the industry, locally, was solid and they were happy. They have a great staff (including parts manager, Tina Bodden and Nick Alosi, AKA NAK, who heads up the service department), customers and didn’t want to jeopardize their good standing.
Dennis and Ziggy are thankful for their success and Dennis went on to say that he had Ziggy to thank the most for the success of himself and RMS.
“It’s always nice to have a friend like Ziggy, he has always had my back personally and in a business sense”, said Dennis with an unwavering sincerity.
RMS, as a whole, is a small shop with a family feel. They value their customers and Dennis and Ziggy also are in a good position with the moto community and are entering their 20th year for good reason; the customer is the number ONE priority.
964 Terminal Way
Reno NV 89502