545 Mantoloking Road
Brick, NJ 08723
Ron and Kathy Bevacqua
The Bevacqua’s purchased Atlantic Polaris in 1999, but the original owner founded the business in the late 80s or early 90s. Until recently, Atlantic was a Polaris-only dealer, but recently added BRP products lines and changed the name to Atlantic Powersports. The current store is 2,500 square feet, with 1,100 feet of showroom and 800 square feet of shop space. The balance is storage. Currently carries Polaris ATV, Ranger and snowmobile, along with BRP ATV, snowmobile, PWC and jet boats. Also carries Load Rite and Triton trailers. Six full time employees and two part time. Atlantic is a Polaris Star Dealer and an MSD certified Dealer as well. Sells ATVs year-round (around 150 per year). PWC sales are close second.
“Legislators fighting ATV use,” says Kathy Bevacqua.
According to Bevacqua, the entire Sportsman line of Polaris ATVs is selling well. “Our parts, garments, and accessory sales are dependent on the season,” says Bevacqua. “As we approach hunting season, we’ll sell accessories such as gun scabbards, front and rear racks, and winches. Then as winter approaches (and depending on the forecast for snow!) we’ll sell a lot of ATV plows. And during snowmobile season we, of course, sell a lot of jackets, bibs, gloves, and helmets.
CUSTOMER BUYING TRENDS
There is no “typical” customer at Atlantic; Bevacqua says that the dealership gets a little bit of every walk of life. ATVs are definitely the top seller, but PWC don’t fall far behind.
The two top issues facing Atlantic Powersports are finding enough riding areas for its ATV customers. The dealership is also caught in the middle of the ongoing regulation of PWC use in inland and coastal water.
“There has been a bit of press regarding the lack of legal ATV riding areas in the State of NJ,” says Bevacqua. “Many riders trespass on private property. The New Jersey Off Road Vehicle Park in Chatsworth, NJ, is the only legal riding spot in our general area. Many of our ATV customers travel to Pennsylvania, Kentucky, New York, etc. to ride on the hundreds of miles of trail system. Similarly, our snowmobile customers travel into New England and Canada in search of suitable riding conditions. Every now and then an editorial will be printed in our local newspaper from a waterfront homeowner complaining about the PWCs speeding around the marshy areas/no wake areas. Of course, you’ll always have the riders that do ruin it for everyone else that abides by the rules/laws. Also, speaking of ruining it for everyone else, much of the complaining from anti-ATV people stems from accidents and the mess/litter left behind. Ninety-nine percent of the accidents involve either underage operators, speeding, drinking, and/or unsafe riding conditions.”
PARTS AND SERVICE
“One part of a business cannot succeed without the others,” explains Bevacqua. “Sales, service and parts must work together to make the store run well and to provide the customer with the best possible customer service.” Atlantic employs three full-time service technicians and one part-time mechanic’s helper. One service manager/writer. The parts and service department recently converted to Lightspeed Dealer Management Systems, which is aiding in making both departments better, according to Bevacqua.
PROMOTIONAL HOME RUNS
“In the past we have tried all kinds of advertising – from local newspaper, radio, direct mail, and shows,” says Bevacqua. Atlantic even sponsored the “home-run wall” at the local AA baseball stadium. “The most effective method of advertising for us continues to be an outdoor sportsmen’s show held every January. We get follow-up business throughout the year.” The dealership also hosts an open house every year, which is always positively attended. The Web site, www.atlanticpolaris.com, has been active since 1999 and recently added the functionality for online shopping.
WORDS OF ADVICE
“Customer service is the only way to succeed,” says Bevacqua.