Business View Magazine September 2018

262 263 bestselling fish house model is the 8’x16’ Lake of the Woods Hybrid and the bestselling RV model is the 8’x17’ Ice Castle RV Edition. The customizable aspect of what is essential- ly a motorhome continues to wow consumers and competition, alike. Designs are available to accommodate every fishing lifestyle through an amazing menu of options. A large bay window in the rear? Satellite TV? The basic Ice Fish shack can be converted into a luxury Ice Fish House home, and all models have maintenance-free aluminum siding. Even better, the road-licensed Ice Fish House features deluxe double-pulley suspension with retractable wheels, so it can be used year-round; as a hunting shack in the fall, or a trailer for hauling snowmobiles, four wheelers, motorcycles and other toys in the winter, spring and summer months. Ice Castle products have sold as far west as Wyoming, and as far east as New York. “Some of the units are basically RV trailers,” says Drexler. “Our customers are typically outdoorsmen–we attract hunters, and fishermen, but we’re also getting people who will just buy our product for a camper.We do a lot of work with handicapped people and a lot of veterans who aren’t as mobile. Unlike a regular camper, our chassis goes right to the ground. You can be down and set up in an Ice Castle in five minutes, compared to a normal RV where it’s necessary to use leveling jacks. You don’t have to do that with ours, it just sits on the ground or the ice.” The company has grown from 8-12 employ- ees at its inception, to 160 employees during peak demand. Presently, about 130 people are on the payroll.With success comes the need for AMERICAN SURPLUS & MANUFACTURING / ICE CASTLE FISH HOUSES Delivering VALUE to your business • Fleet of over 900 Trucks and 1,300 Trailers • Just-In-Time Delivery • Milling and Cut-To-Size Resources • Laminated Panels • Thin WP4 in Pine and Cedar • Custom Treated Plywood • Full Line of Traditional and Specialty Building Materials MINNEAPOLIS | ST. PAUL For more information 800.839.2588 | We specialize in custom fiberglass products, manufactured for a variety of applications which include: Automotive Accessories • Boats – 18 ft or under • Farm Equipment • Machine Covers Materials Handling • Motorcycle Accessories • Pontoons • Refrigerated Vehicles Sewage System Components Sheeting – Flat • Treatment Systems – Water • Truck Accessories Small enough the customer doesn’t get lost, yet large enough to take care of the customer’s needs. Established in 1982, from its humble beginnings in a 1,600 sq.ft. building, Precision Fiberglass Products, Ltd. has always stood for quality fiberglass products and excellent customer service. Precision Fiberglass Products, Ltd., is a completely compliant facility in all areas for environmental regulations and personal safety. 108 First Street North, P.O. Box 215, Grove City, MN 56243 Ph: 320-857-2974 • Fax: 320-857-2645 • Email: expansion, and Ice Castle is always growing. A 12,000-square-foot addition has been complet- ed - one of numerous additions incorporated into the facility over the last five years to keep up with the growing demand. One of the reasons for the ever-increasing sales is attention paid to im- proving the product in practical and innovative ways, such as incorporating urethane insulation, which many other camper outfits do not. The Ice Castle Arctic Package features urethane insula- tion under the floor, the ceiling, and the walls to improve the comfort level and lower the heating cost. Drexler says his company actually fared well during the Great Recession. “2007 was one of our better years, for some reason–maybe it was our price? A good-sized unit sells from $12,000 up to $40,000. I think we offer a price range that a lot of companies can’t hit. It wasn’t pretty, but we stuck in there, and we’ve been growing ever since.” Drexler reports that, since then, sales have con- tinued to remain strong. “I think we’re sold out for the rest of the year,” he states. “Our production schedule is filling up very, very fast.We’ve been hiring for the last couple of months, and we’re trying to get another shift going so we can keep up with the demand. I’m just trying to leave slots open so we can build customer-ordered houses instead of just all stock units for the dealerships. We have enough stock orders to sit on dealers’ lots, probably until the end of February.” One of the company’s recent challenges is the growing cost of raw materials. “We’ve seen some price increases with almost every item that we use to manufacture the Ice Castle Fish House and that drove our prices up,” Drexler recounts. “We use a lot of aluminum and steel. I’ve seen