Vespa Dealership Opens

With the extensive advertising and promotion over the past couple of months, it would be difficult for anybody to have missed the recent opening of a Vespa dealership in Charlottesville, on Preston. Owner Colin Dougherty believes that the Italian scooters are a natural for Charlottesville, because, he asserts, “traffic is almost as bad as it is in Philadelphia.” The dealership has only sold 10 of the $3,000+ machines in their five weeks of operation. Does Charlottesville want Vespas? James Fernald has the story in today’s Progress.

28 thoughts on “Vespa Dealership Opens”

  1. Does Charlottesville want Vespas?

    Well, actually… No, we don’t. Most everything is withing walking distance or a short bus trip, so spending $3K on one of the dreadfully tacky machines just doesn’t make any sense. If someone were going so spend that kind of money on a vehicle, they’d probably just get a used car anyway. Scooters simply aren’t a symbol of prosperity, and are not poised to become a hot item any time soon.

  2. Is C-ville out of attractive young women? That’s who’s supposed to be riding them. Duh. But I guess that either we’re just not fashionable enough as a town, or the young women are too crunchy overall for Vespas. It can’t help that the only scooters you see being driven in town are by fat old drunks who’ve had their licenses taken away.

  3. Oh yes, they’ll be hot items… Hot as in "stolen" Charlottesville is full of "hot" mopeds. Those things get stolen more than bicycles.

  4. Very nice but very sad, judging by the first comments on this site. Vespas are definitely cool and useful city vehicles. But I would be scared of not having the acceleration power of at least a 250cc motorcycle to get away from inattentive SUV raving idiots and their cell phones.

  5. "Very nice but very sad, judging by the first comments on this site"

    Aww come on! Try this. Take your tongue and plant it firmly in your cheek. Now begin typing a response. See how easy it is?

    Vespas are way cool, and I hope more people get interested and start driving them. Particularly the UVA students. They need to investigate methods of transportation that involve fewer than 3 wheels.

  6. I just love the pictures of the big opening party at the Vespa joint in The Hook with all the cool people showing up with their wine and beer to kick off the Vespa festivities!

  7. I actually would like to wish the owners of the dealership good luck with their venture. I don’t see myself getting a scooter anytime soon. But small businesses are the backbone of our country. I do find interesting that their new business has all the local media coverage. Full page ads in everything makes you wonder if they are paying for the ‘free press’.

    On a side note of myself not getting a scooter, well during my younger and immature years,my friends and I would get a kick out of driving up to someone on a scooter and yelling ‘ HEY DOES THAT THING TAKE DOUBLE A’ BATTERIES’.

    Yes, I am a bad man.

  8. Vespa have an ignition that cannot be hotwired. So the stolen mopeds you see aren’t new Vespa

  9. I am considering getting one. My husband and I don’t live *that* close to a bus stop and we share the car. It’d be nice to have my own set of wheels.

    I have no need to go over 55 in town and would primarily ride it to and from work – downtown, where as we know and love, parking is a bear.

    I’m looking into what insurance rates will be for me and then I’ll take the motorcycle class. A motorcycle license is required (as is a helmet) to operate a Vespa in the Commonwealth.

  10. I’m looking into what insurance rates will be for me and then I’ll take the motorcycle class.

    The local motorcycle safety course, held at AHS, is excellent. I really enjoyed it, and recommend it highly.

    A motorcycle license is required (as is a helmet) to operate a Vespa in the Commonwealth.

    I’m glad that you mentioned that. It bothered me that the dealer said, in that Progress article, something about how nice it is to drive down 29 with your hair whipping about in the breeze. I hope he’s not encouraging people to drive without helmets. That’s both stupid and illegal.

  11. Oh, I’m well aware that the ones I see are the Yamaha Razz scooters. How long before some thug circumvents the Vespa ignition system and steals one?

  12. "I have no need to go over 55 in town and would primarily ride it to and from work – downtown, where as we know and love, parking is a bear"

    I have no quarrel with your dream of easy parking but will ownership of a scooter make all that much difference? You will take space and if you take that space via some act of encroachment someone will complain and then…………after much wailing and gnashing of teeth and other body parts the City Council will forego their foreign policy meetings long enough to declare parking in other than marked spaces is illegal……..or something like it..

    Now maybe I overblew the case a little (BG) but you get my drift.

  13. I hate to be cynical all the time, but… the opening of Vespa and the subsequent coverage in The Hook and The Daily Progress really can’t be that newsworthy. My impression is that a tradeout of some sort was probably arranged along the line of "I’ll pay for advertising in your newspaper if you write a favorable article about my Vespa business." I know these things, tradeouts of this sort, happen frequently in the media, but when its so clearly obvious it is sad to see.

  14. I hate to be cynical all the time, but… the opening of Vespa and the subsequent coverage in The Hook and The Daily Progress really can’t be that newsworthy.

    That was very much on my mind when I posted this story. I don’t understand why Vespa opening is newsworthy. So I put it up on cvillenews.com. Ironic, no? :)

  15. Cool! Score for reliable, cheap, efficient transportation. And imagine those UVA hotties riding around on them during the summer! Mmm…

  16. Actually, I am assuming, that like UVA, there are motorcycle spaces available that I will be able to use. Another thing that I will be looking into. And before it is questioned, yes, I anticipate having to pay the same amount as anyone else. That’s only fair.

  17. Not newsworthy? I don’t know about the possible ties between media and business, but it certainly is.

    A Vespa is like a proven form of a Segway. I was passing by their store a few days ago and I said to my wife: “wow, that looks cool. I wonder at what age our kids could ride one of those”. Maybe this is not 1st page material, but come on, cville is an itty-biity town with not that much big happening every day.

  18. much of the response is a shame…i’m not certain these things are the best thing going…but they are definitely a far more fuel efficient, far less polluting transportation option than are cars. they’re faster and give you much further effective range than a bicycle. and, if enough people were using them, especially in the downtown area, parking would indeed be easier…since you can fit way more vespas into the same space as you can cars.

    the seperate issue of a "trade off" for news coverage…good move on the part of the vespa dealership owner. he joined up with at least the c-ville to give away a vespa which certainly earned good coverage…and as we know, whatever the c-ville is covering the hook has to cover…so, you might question the papers’ coverage…but the move on the part of the owner was excellent.

  19. LOL

    So how make did the Vespa people pay you for your remakes. Or I bet you are a sells person there. Good job hyping the place up. Look, I don’t care either way if people are driving them or not. I know since I have to work outside the city, I will not be getting a little mopad to drive on 29 to get where I work at. I would rather spend my $3000 on a 60" HDTV MMMMMM big a$$ tv MMMMMM.

  20. Sorry,

    I guess the Vespa sales people have nothing to do all day and post good things about their company on CVillenews. Hey Waldo, you need to start charging for advertising.

  21. Whether it truly is newsworthy is really neither here nor there—it is the impression that they PAID for their favorable and ample news coverage that makes it questionable. That’s a no-no in journalism.

  22. sheesh, what are the people in here ROBOTS,

    THAT IS NOT FUNNY. WE ARE BORG. WE DO NOT HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR.

  23. <what are the people in here ROBOTS>

    No, it’s just that we all say stupid things so often that it’s hard to tell when someone is kidding, or just being really stupid again. This is an ongoing problem, and we’re all guilty of it at one time or another.

  24. Yeah, I getting to believe that everyone thinks I am the resident Troll in here. Yet, I have never cuss someone out or personally attack them which are the usually traits for the online Trolls. You would just find me debating more in the growth threads then the Vespa or ‘hip’ threads. BTW, those threads are usually the longer ones :P. I don’t mind being the opposing view.

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