Illinois dealership sees benefits of hosting safety class
Brian Talty, owner of Talty Polaris in Streator, Ill., hosts a free snowmobile safety class every winter at his dealership. Administered by the Illinois Association of Snowmobile Clubs and the state Department of Natural Resources, Talty’s only investment is clearing showroom space and providing hot dogs, chips and a drink for dinner.
With topics ranging from hands-on safety of the sled itself to how to react if a sled falls into a lake to how to change a flat on a snowmobile trailer, attendees get a plethora of education.
And Talty, who operates the store with his wife, Michelle, gets the occasional sale.
“We do get sales, sometimes, yes,” said Talty, a former Polaris racer himself. “We always sell something from hosting it. Last year a guy needed all new snowmobile gear. The kids like to buy the decals and little stuff like that.”
Snow season appears to be strong for Talty, who continues to ride about 1,000 miles a year.
“We sell about 25 sleds a year,” he said. “We sold our snowcheck sleds. We sent a flyer out and wrote down the names of everybody who was inquiring about a new snowmobile. We kept in contact with them. Anybody who I thought was interested in getting a new snowmobile, they got the flyer.”
Talty proclaimed the suspension on the new Rush has received rave reviews from his customers.
“If we can get some snow around here, we’d probably sell a few more sleds,” he said. “Everybody that spends $10,000 on a sled is taking it up to Wisconsin. They’re not going to ditch ride around here.”