Texas dealership offers 2,500-acre riding area exclusively to customers
In the early 2000s, Morris Baker was faced with a serious concern.
“At that time, we were having a lot of land closures, and the off-road riding clubs didn’t have a place to go. I was afraid they wouldn’t have a place to camp and ride,” recalled Baker, CEO of Family Powersports, with locations in Lubbock, Odessa and San Angelo, Texas.
Worried for his customer base and what a lack of riding areas could do for his business, Baker took action. He located a ranch with 2,500 acres available for lease, and he turned the land into Family Powersports Park, a place where ATV and dirt bike riders could gather and ride.
Since then, land closures have become less of an issue, and a few local off-road clubs have secured their own land, so Baker decided to close the park off to the public and create an exclusive getaway only for his dealerships’ customers.
“It’s for our customers only nowadays. We have a deal where if they buy a unit they get two years free to ride on the land,” Baker explained.
Every customer who buys an ATV, side-by-side or dirt bike receives a two-year pass for the park. The pass is valid for any off-road vehicle purchased at a Family Powersports dealership and anyone in the customer’s immediate family who will be using that vehicle. The park requires each user to sign in, and video captures each person as they drive in; however, use of the park is free to the qualifying customers. The 2,500 acres of the park have been mapped out with designated motorcycle-only trails, ATV/UTV trails and multi-use trails.
“We have a small river that runs through it year round, a sand hill type area, a desert that looks almost like a moon surface — we call it Mars,” Baker said.
The park also has about a dozen basic campsites, each with electricity and water available to all campers. Just like use of the park, camping is free to customers and is often put to good use by families.
“They take the camper trailers and all their units down. The camping spots on the weekends, if the weather’s good, it’s usually pretty full,” Baker said.
Though some riders have found locations throughout the area to ride, for others Family Powersports Park is the only place they take their vehicles out.
“Really it’s a broad mixture. It’s from the little dirt bikes that the family takes the kids out riding, or four wheelers; a lot of UTVs are down there,” Baker said.
Family Powersports also allows its employees to use the park, and the three dealerships have it available to introduce new or returning riders to the sport.
“We have events in the spring and fall. We’ll have demo rides. We’ll take all the ATVs down there and let the customers ride them — ATVs, UTVs, off-road bikes. We serve hot dogs, tea and lemonade,” Baker said. “It’s good for our employees, too, to get out there with the customers and the products.”
Though upkeep of the site is minimal — mostly focused on paying the electric bill to keep power available to campers — the park has been somewhat of an investment. But that investment has paid off in more than one way, Baker says.
He said he keeps the park running, “To see the grins on their faces. And also from the profit standpoint, it creates a buying experience that no other dealers are able to provide. It makes it exciting and sets us apart from our competitors that we do this, and we do not charge customers at all.”