LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- Barnett’s Las Cruces Harley-Davidson will become the latest Borderland businesses to permanently shutter its doors during the pandemic.
"Ever since the pandemic, we just don't know what to expect," said Kim Barnett, the owner of the store. "I never thought I would be closing this store."
During just the first quarter of the pandemic, Harley-Davidson locations across the country saw a 15 percent drop in motorcycle sales, according to the company.
The Las Cruces location has been in operation for 22 years. A total of 32 employees will lose their jobs. Barnett told ABC-7 that 65 percent of her employees have worked at the store more than a decade.
"The employees were consoling me more than I was consoling them," Barnett said. "We're talking, you know, family at this point. Here, I'm putting them out of a job and that's what's heartbreaking."
Barnett said her family will now shift attention to the El Paso location. She also told ABC-7 that the company is paying severance packages to the Las Cruces employees and giving recommendations that can be used in their job search.
"The decision (to close) had to be made," Barnett said. "We made it at a time when it's still possible to help out the employees."