Outdoor Sport Equipment Dealers Finding Success During Pandemic

DULUTH, Minn.– With the push to get outside during the pandemic, more customers are roaring into small engine vehicle dealers.

Local motorcycle and ATV dealers say more foot traffic is coming into their stores after so many people were pent up indoors during quarantine and leaving with some new wheels to enjoy this summer.

“Springtime is always our busiest season but I would definitely say it’s been kicked up a notch,” said Tony Bianchi, a Sales Associate at RJ Sport and Cycle in Hermantown.

It’s been a busy season for small engine dealers around the northland, including at RJ Sport and Cycle.

ATVs, dirt bikes, motorcycles and more have been selling with side-by-sides becoming the most popular item for riders so far this summer.

The sales staff has seen a good mix of first time buyers and those wanting to upgrade their wheels with the open time created by the pandemic.

“It was the perfect push over the edge to get them to buy that new boat, new pontoon, new ATV, side-by-side, motorcycle. Whatever it may be,” said Bianchi. “From there on out it was wide open.”

over in west Duluth, the sales team at Duluth Lawn and Sport was unsure of how business was going to be during the pandemic. But salesman Larry Kline now believes they are on pace for a record year.

Staff there say they’ve been working harder than ever to keep inventory in stock. The store has also seen an increase in water crafts and tractor sales.

A big reason why has been special programs and financing options because of the impact from COVID-19, along with people cancelling vacations and trying to get outside closer to home.

“Before COVID yeah we did expect it. When it first hit, we weren’t sure what was going to happen but it has gone in a good direction for us,” said Kline.

As the pandemic continues, those at the shops enjoy the renewed interest to get outdoors and ride.

“They got extra time at home and they’re thinking about what are they going to do at home, what are they going to do at the cabin instead of going on vacation and go somewhere else they’re looking to stay close and local and be with the family and have a good summer,” said Kline.

Kline also adds that the side-by side market has been growing over the last few years before the boom this summer.

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