When the world gives you lemons, you make lemonade. In the case of Heartland Motor Company of Morris, when the world gave them more space, they found something to fill it. That space is now filled by Black Bear fish houses, popular for ice fishing or for camping. These beautiful, open floor planned houses are popular any time of year.
When the pandemic caused a back-up of vehicles the inventory shortage created extra space on the lot. Heartland Motors president Dan Dripps said he is starting to see a slow reverse of the backordered vehicles. Although there is still a 3-4 month backlog when ordering, this is actually faster than it once was.
One of the key things they have found is to be prepared. People can come in and place the order well in advance of when the vehicle is needed. It is a different and easy way of purchasing but not all bad. With this method people can get everything they want with a short wait time.
They signed on with Black Bear fish houses out of Wilmar and realized they had everything else already in place. The repair crew knew how to fix things in the houses, the sales staff was eager to learn all they could about them and the financing plans could be the same as vehicle plans. All they needed was to find people interested in taking a look.
The fish house comes in four different models, each of which can be customized with extras. These include the Legend, Tracker, Rogue Toy hauler and Shell. They can be ordered in three lengths, 17’, 21’ and 24’. Some of the standard items include beds, stove, refrigerator, fishing openings in the floor, interior and exterior LED lights, a bathroom and a removable hitch for storage. There are power operated hydraulics that use a remote button to prevent theft. The fish house has RV windows with coverings and marine grade flooring.
There are also several features that can be added. You can add a power slide to make more room, electric bed, air conditioning, awning, and many upgrades in flooring and window covering. The bathrooms can be upgraded as well as kitchen units. You can make the fish house as basic or luxurious as desired.
Dripps stated that this is the first time he has tried selling something other than vehicles. He had the space so decided to come up with a way to fill it. There are no other dealers for fish houses in the area so to find a local manufacturer was the perfect match. These types of fish houses are becoming popular because they can be used all year round. They not only work well on a lake in winter, but also in a campground, the back yard or pulled along on a vacation. All you need is a pickup truck or heavy duty SUV and you are set to travel.
The sales staff at Heartland is excited about the new fish houses and ready to talk to interested parties. They include Brady Riley, Lynn Boots, Ryan Stout, Gina Dahlen, Dan Dripps, Williams Rodriguez, Mike Howell and Marv Westrom. Some of these reps will be at the Stevens County Fair this weekend where people can tour the models on hand at Heartland. Also available to check out at the fair is a Chevy Bolt electric car that is in the Heartland inventory. You will also be able to look at these items at Heartland’s 5th annual Car Show on Sept. 18.
Check out the many new and innovative things offered at Heartland when you visit the Stevens County Fair.