MINNEAPOLIS, Minn — In a year where everything shut down due to the COVID-19 panademic, people found ways to embrace the great outdoors.
"What we thought was going to be pretty scary turned out okay," said Eric Peterson, VP General Manager at Centre Powersports and Marine in Sauk Center.
The pandemic pushed people to make the most of Minnesota's outdoor spaces by buying things like boats, ATVs and RVs for hitting the lakes, trails, and roads.
"To say it's been a boom is an understatement and it's across the board," said Craig Hiltner, the Business Manager at Monticello RV. "Every dealer is struggling to get inventory, to fill customer demand, it's really something I have never seen."
Craig says sales are up roughly 70 to 80% this year from what they normally are.
"If you drive on most RV lots right now, it looks like December like it's the end of the season and they sold out of inventory," said Craig.
It's great that sales are through the roof, but not when the supply can't keep up with the demand. It's the same story everywhere.
Over at Centre PowerSports and Marine, Eric says between the pandemic and the deep freeze that hit Texas this past winter, plants that made products like foam for boat seats and fiberglass products are way behind.
"It's really a bummer," said Eric. "There's going to be people that bought product, from the RV side or the powersports and marine side, that aren't going to have stuff until the middle of summer and to me what a depressing thing… you buy a new toy and you don't get it until late in the year."
So what can you do if you want to get your hands on something like an RV, ATV or boat right now?
Both Craig and Eric say if you see something in stock now get it because prices are only going to go up. If you can't buy it now, try to get on the waiting list.
Also, be extra cautious when buying used products as there has been a HUGE demand there as well. People have been price gouging -- simply because they can!