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Snowmobile racer turns dealer principal

By Liz Keener

Dennis Durmas purchases Colorado dealership

Dennis Durmas has been racing snowmobiles for three decades, and though he has no plans to turn in his keys, helmet and gloves, Durmas has recently changed his full-time job.

Durmas purchased Weekender Sports, a powersports dealership and sporting goods store in Hotchkiss, Colorado, in January.

“I’ve wanted to do it for quite some time and just never really stepped up and did it. I had a chance to get ahold of a small dealership real close to the hometown I grew up in,” he told Powersports Business. “It’s actually the town I graduated high school in, and I’ve been around this dealership forever. I just decided it was time and wanted to get out of the oil and gas business.”

Durmas has been on snowmobiles as long as he can remember, and though the sport is in his blood, so is owning a dealership.

“I’ve been on a snowmobile all my life. My parents, when I grew up, owned a Moto-Ski dealership in Newport, New Hampshire, when I was born, so I’ve been on a snowmobile since day one. I’m a big enthusiast on snowmobiles, much more than even just the racing. The racing brought me to where I’m at these days; I’ve done it for 30 years, and I just enjoy powersports.”

Snowmobile racer Dennis Durmas purchased Weekender Sports in Hotchkiss, Colorado, this year. Among improvements he’s making is adding an exterior Ski-Doo sign, which hasn’t yet been placed.

Snowmobile racer Dennis Durmas purchased Weekender Sports in Hotchkiss, Colorado, this year. Among improvements he’s making is adding an exterior Ski-Doo sign, which hasn’t yet been placed.

Durmas is an accomplished racer, at one point becoming the Jackson Hole World Champion in hillclimb, but he also spent time racing snocross and cross-country. He’s spent most of that time on a Polaris, though he raced for Ski-Doo as well. Now he’s selling both brands at his dealership.

Weekender Sports carries Ski-Doo snowmobiles; Polaris ATVs, UTVs and snowmobiles; Stihl power equipment; Triton Trailers; and Yacht Club Trailers, in addition to hunting and fishing supplies.

“We’ve got a little bit of everything here,” Durmas said. “If somebody comes in to go hunting, we’ve got a rifle we can sell them. We can sell them their hunting license. We can get them a four-wheeler to get into the mountains. We can sell them a snowmobile to go have fun in the wintertime.”

Since taking over the dealership in January, Durmas has been focused on bringing it up to date, while keeping its small town feel.

“So far, sales have gone pretty well. We’ve had quite a few changes, but for the good. With new comes change. The last owner had it for 30 years, so you can only imagine the corners with dust in them. So I’m just cleaning up and just starting over and trying to get it more into this century’s dealership,” he said.

Durmas’ focus is on providing good service for his customers. He learned the ropes of the business while spending six years working at a friend’s dealership in the front range of Colorado.

“I feel service is where it’s at. People will come in and buy something, but if you don’t take care of them when they’re here, they won’t be back,” he said.

He has retained the Weekender Sports staff and says the service employees have immense experience in their field. Of course, being a longtime hands-on racer, Durmas has a hard time staying out of the service department himself.

“When it comes to the service after the sale, we can take care of them very well. And that’s my background more — the service end, having my hands dirty, working on them. And that’s one of the things that I still enjoy doing. The guys around here that I’m working with, I’ve spent a lot of time back in the shop, working on something, doing something, and they’re not used to that. People like to come in and see the owner back there, getting dirty and helping out. That never hurts,” he said.

But, Durmas also said he’ll be the first in line to go riding during breaktime. “I’m just an enthusiast, and I enjoy doing it. Everybody says it’s going to take it away from me, but I don’t think so,” he said.

Durmas is currently waiting for a Ski-Doo sign to be installed on the exterior of the dealership. Next on his agenda is remodeling and adding a storage structure in the rear of the building to cover the new models currently stored outdoors in the elements.

With snow already hitting the mountaintops in Colorado, Durmas is looking forward to his first full snowmobile season with the dealership. He believes the dealership’s service record and his history with snowmobilers in the area will bring customers from near and far.

“We’re just a fun place to come and enjoy, whether you want to buy a box of bullets and a rifle, or if you want to get an ATV or UTV or snowmobile, or whatever you’d like, we can take care of that,” he said.


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