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Amid pandemic, outdoor Motorsports see boom as people turn to outdoor activity

At least 35% of new customers were first time buyers
Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 6:40 PM EDT
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - Like almost all businesses the workers and managerial staff at RideCenterUSA did not know what to expect when the COVID 19 pandemic started.

Just weeks in, however, business began to take off as people turned to activities they never have before.

“We did what we could and what we found out is everyone wanted to have fun still,” said manager Chris Smith.

Smith has worked in the industry for more than 20 years, and when he started to see the number of people rolling in, it took him back to when the industry was booming.

“It’s all crazy. You can get new stuff, you can’t buy used stuff, used stuff is at a higher premium, it’s just a crazy time for our industry,” said Smith.

While movie theatres remain shuttered and other indoor activities frowned upon, many have decided to open their checkbooks for a new four-wheeler, or ATV.

“Whether they’re in Eastern Kentucky or Eastern Tennessee, Western West Virginia or Utah, Colorado or all those places, Arizona, you can get a side-by-side or an ATV or a dune ride, get out away from everything and their life’s normal for the time that they’re there, and I think that that’s the main thing people wanted, people wanted some normal,” said Smith.

While business is booming, that is just a drop in the bucket as compared to how important continuing to be able to employ their workers is.

“Like I’ve said we’ve got nine employees here and their lives have been the same, their lives have been,” said Smith.

While the new increase in demand coupled with shutdowns at factories and the end of the model year, as the ’21 models begin to roll out, Smith expects inventories across the industry begin to recover.

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