Business View Magazine September 2018

264 265 increases in all of the aluminum siding that we’ve purchased. All our frames are built out of steel, and I’ve seen a 10 to 15 percent increase on the frame end. That adds up to hundreds of dollars, easily. Lumber has jumped a lot –up to 40 per- cent on our cedar that we use. Luckily, it hasn’t seemed to hurt our sales, at all.” Drexler has several ideas for growing the busi- ness, and a strong passion to see them through. “In the next few years, I would like to stretch our demographic reach more into the west. More of the rugged areas like Colorado, Utah, and even down south,” he avers. For now, though, the local market takes up his entire inventory. “We can’t build enough units for Minnesota,Wisconsin, and the Dakotas,” he states. “If we can build more units, we could expand into the west. The good news is that the models that we build here in Minnesota are being taken on trips way out to Yosemite and Colorado and Florida. People are getting on the road with these things and seeing the country, just like you would with a camper.” Innovation continues to be the company’s strong suit. “This past April, we put out eight new models to showcase,” Drexler says. “And what’s be- coming popular are four new colors of fiberglass AMERICAN SURPLUS & MANUFACTURING / ICE CASTLE FISH HOUSES PREFERRED VENDORS n BlueLinx Corporation BlueLinx is a leading distributor of building products in North America. We offer thousands of products from suppliers all over the world to ser- vice our nationwide customers, including dealers, industrial manufacturers, manufactured housing producers and home improvement retailers. We operate our distribution business through a vast network of distribution centers located throughout the U.S. n Precision Fiberglass Products siding. They’re the colors that Winnebago typically uses, so we’ve incorporated that into our production line and they’ve been a big hit.” Drexler is optimistic about his company’s prospects, but is cognizant that the current strong economy can always change. “Sales have been strong, so far, but it all depends on what the future holds,” he concludes. “What’s important with Ice Castle is our customers, and our ability to take their ideas and make them a reality.We customize these things like no others. There’s just one thing: though we do provide big ac- cess holes in the bottom of the unit to drop your line and fish... you still have to drill through the ice.”