Explorer: OPE Across America, May 2023

We take a look at just a few of the interesting news items from outdoor power equipment dealerships and suppliers around the country – and beyond – that came across our desk in the past few weeks:

Apple Farm Service, with five locations in Ohio and Indiana, is holding a Ride N Drive event on May 20th at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Dayton, Ohio. Attendees will be able to test drive equipment from Kioti, New Holland, Bad Boy Mowers and Tractors, Exmark and Grasshopper. The dealership will provide lunch and offer prize giveaways, music and yard games.

Keystone Power Equipment Sales and Service has opened its doors in New Castle, Pennsylvania. Clinton Gillen and Scott Callahan, owners of Carquest Keystone Auto Parts, opened the new business after a technician suggested they move their repair service department to a new location, reports Clay Today. Keystone provides repair services for outdoor power equipment, and sells used equipment and parts. It plans to provide UTV repair services in the future, notes Gillen.

Brooks Yamaha in Manhattan, Kansas, recently celebrated 50 years in business. Founded in 1973, the dealership primarily sells and services powersports and outdoor power equipment as well as a wide range of parts and accessories. “We are not a large dealership and I think that’s great – I think you get more of a personal touch from a small business,” notes Clifton Raub, who purchased the business in 2015. “As long as we treat each customer with the same respect and dignity as we would want to be treated, I think we will earn and keep lifelong customers.”

Villwocks Outdoor Living, Berrien Springs, Michigan, has added a 24,000-square-foot state-of-the-art greenhouse to its operation. The official Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting celebration, which took place May 5th at the dealership, was jointly hosted by the Harbor Country Chamber and the Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber. Representatives from Bad Boy Mowers were on hand to speak with customers. “We are excited to be opening this amazing new facility and we look forward to serving Michigan’s Great Southwest,” says owner Mike Villwock. “So many great employees and customers have made this possible and we want to make sure they understand this would not be possible without them!”

Empire Tractor, with seven New York locations, has closed its dealership in Nelson, reports Eagle News Online: “According to Empire Tractor president Tim Call, the decision to close the branch — which he said usually employs around 10 people — stemmed from supply chain issues, lack of inventory, the loss of Case IH tractors and equipment, and difficulty hiring and retaining employees, especially service technicians.” Empire’s lines include New Holland, Kubota, Kioti, Stihl, Land Pride, Dixie Chopper and others.

Burke’s Outdoor Equipment, Valparaiso, Indiana, has finalized renovation of its new facility, designed and built by Chester Inc. Architectural & Construction Services. The dealership hosted an open house in April to celebrate the new facility, showing off equipment from Ariens, Toro, Gravely, Billy Goat and others.

Across the pond, Millers Home and Garden in Portlaoise, Ireland, has recently been reappointed as the exclusive dealer in Portlaoise for Husqvarna forest and garden equipment. In addition, Millers is now also offering Echo equipment. “We believe that the addition of Echo to our product line-up will be a great benefit to our customers who are looking for reliable, high-quality power tools at a more affordable price,” the dealership notes on its website.

The Desert Canyon Golf Club in Fountain Hills, California, has become the first golf course in the United States to commit to a fleet of fully automated mowers, according to The Fountain Hills Times. The club utilizes a fleet of 26 Husqvarna Automowers for its fairways, driving range and rough, it notes on its Twitter page. The mowing zones for the machines are set by signal routers attached to wooden poles dispersed throughout the golf course.

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