Vermont bicycle store plans to open store in Keene | Local news

A Vermont bicycle store appears poised to open a new location in Keene, after receiving approval from city officials.

According to Tony Accurso, owner of Alpine Bike Works, the store at 15 King Court – a former women’s fitness center – would sell bikes and do repairs, in addition to offering rentals if demanded.

On Monday night, zoning council members unanimously approved a waiver for the company, which it needs to operate a retail store in that area. Accurso said it plans to open the store in March after doing some limited renovations to the interior.

The other Alpine Bike Works store in Killington, Vermont has a variety of bikes for sale and rent. The store also sells clothing and other cycling equipment.

This store has struggled to attract customers during the COVID-19 pandemic as its repeat customers have started shopping primarily on its website, according to owner Ben Berman. Berman, of Walpole, said at the time that he would continue to operate a separate 365 Cycles store in Pennsylvania and also online.

Noting that Keene has a bicycle park, in Wheelock Park, as well as several cycle paths, Accurso said he has been monitoring the city for a long time.

“We thought it was a big market,” he said after the zoning council meeting on Monday.

The new Alpine Bike Works store in Elm City would occupy the King Court property, vacant since the Downtown Fitness Keene closed in 2019. The 5,200 square foot building was also home to the Indian King Framery.

Last year, Hundred Nights Inc. offered to use 15 King Court as a temporary homeless shelter while the organization searched for a new location. The zoning council, however, rejected this plan, finding it incompatible with local zoning rules.