A Vermont bicycle store appears set to open a new location in Keene, having received approval from city officials.
The shop at 15 King Court — a former women’s fitness center — would sell bikes and provide repairs, in addition to offering rentals if there’s demand, according to Alpine Bike Works owner Tony Accurso.
Zoning board members on Monday night unanimously approved a variance for the business, which it needs to operate a retail store in that area. Accurso said he’s aiming to open the shop in March after doing some limited renovations inside.
Alpine Bike Works’ other shop in Killington, Vt., offers a variety of bicycles for sale and to rent. The store also sells apparel and other cycling gear.
Keene lost a bike store in March, when 365 Cycles closed its Main Street location.
That shop struggled to attract customers during the COVID-19 pandemic because its regular patrons began shopping mainly on its website, according to owner Ben Berman. Berman, of Walpole, said at the time he would continue operating a separate 365 Cycles store in Pennsylvania and also online.
Noting that Keene has a bike park, at Wheelock Park, as well as multiple bike paths, Accurso said he’s been eyeing the city for a long time.
“We thought it was a great market,” he said after the zoning board meeting Monday.
Alpine Bike Works’ new shop in the Elm City would occupy the King Court property that’s been vacant since Downtown Fitness Keene closed in 2019. The 5,200-square-foot building was also previously home to Indian King Framery.
Last year, Hundred Nights Inc. proposed using 15 King Court as a temporary homeless shelter while the organization searched for a new location. The zoning board rejected that plan, however, finding it inconsistent with local zoning rules.