50-year family dealership acquired; new owners: ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’

A family-owned dealership that is one of the longest-tenured business members of its community has been acquired after 50 years in operation.

Erv’s Sales and Service in Tomahawk, Wisconsin, has been acquired by Power Pac Inc. of Marshfield. Josh and Mandy Witt, with nearly two years of ownership and fast growth under their belt at Power Pac, look forward to continuing the legacy that was built by Alan Van Strydonk, Nancy Swan and their family over the last 50 years.

“Nancy and Alan, with their families and team, have built an extremely successful and respected business that we look forward to building upon,” said Josh Witt, co-owner of Power Pac, Inc. “We are grateful they have given us the opportunity to carry on the dream they’ve built and will do everything in our power to maintain the level of service people expect from Erv’s.”

Erv’s Sales and Service was established in 1969 by Alan and Nancy’s parents, Erv and Jean Van Strydonk, and originally sold mostly Polaris snowmobiles. After a building move and overcoming a fire, they moved to and acquired Tomahawk Trailer & Boat — allowing them to add marine and trailer products to their lineup. Alan and Nancy took over ownership of the dealership in 1992 and purchased what is now the current building and expanded from there. Erv’s Sales and Service is one of the longest standing businesses in Tomahawk and Nancy and Alan attribute that to their customer service.

“We pride ourselves on taking care of the customer before, during and after the sale,” said Swan. “The reason our service is great is because we believe in taking care of our team. Our service department has over 150 years of combined experience and you don’t have that kind of longevity if your team doesn’t believe in your values and business direction. We think Mandy and Josh will carry on those values and direction.”

The acquisition of Erv’s allows Power Pac to add to an already lengthy lineup of brands and expand into the marine side of the business. For the Witts, it was somewhat of a no-brainer when it came to the purchase decision — even though the opportunity came sooner than they thought it would and closing amidst an uncertain economy.

“A second location was always in the plan and Erv’s has a lengthy list of positive attributes including an exceptional team,” says Mandy Witt, co-owner of Power Pac, Inc. “They have direct access to trails, bodies of water and tourism, a recognized lineup of marine products and an established service and storage business. It checked all of the boxes we had in our growth plan. It just came around a little sooner than expected. But when opportunity knocks, you answer and show up to meet the challenge.”

The Witt’s vision for Erv’s? Mostly business as usual.

“As the old saying goes, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it,” said Josh Witt. “As with any business, we plan to grow and innovate as we go but we want to stay true to the original values of this place. It should be easy given we believe in the same level of service that Alan and Nancy do.”

And the original owners won’t be strangers. To help ensure the transition is as smooth as possible for customers and the team, both Van Strydonk and Swan have agreed to consult through the summer and potentially beyond.

“It was a difficult decision to sell knowing we have so many loyal and long-standing customers,” said Swan. “But we feel at ease knowing Josh and Mandy will carry on the same business reputation we have provided. We want our customers to know how much we appreciate their business and friendship over the years. It means the world to us.”

As newcomers to Tomahawk, the Witts plan to continue Erv’s commitment to supporting the community.

“We’re excited to be a part of the Tomahawk community — it’s like expanding our family,” said Mandy Witt. “We consider our Power Pac team family and now we have an even bigger one with Erv’s. The community is no different. Tomahawk has an amazing small-town feel — much like our hometown of Marshfield — and we plan to uphold Erv’s commitment to the area.”

Established in 1963, Power Pac Inc. began as a snowmobile dealership selling Scorpion snowmobiles. After taking over ownership in 1976, Mike Trulen expanded the portfolio of brands, and Power Pac Inc. is now an authorized dealer of Honda Power, John Deere, Kawasaki, Polaris, Polaris Slingshot, Stihl, Suzuki and Yamaha. Josh and Mandy Witt took over ownership in 2018. The dealership offers a wide selection of UTVs, ATVs, motorcycles, snowmobiles and tractors, and houses sales, financing, service and parts departments.

Established in 1969, Erv’s Sales and Service began as a Polaris snowmobile dealership. In 1971, original owners Erv and Jean Van Strydonk expanded to a larger building which was then devastated by a fire in 1982. In 1983, the Van Strydonks took over the “Tomahawk Boat and Trailer” building and expanded their brand lineup to include boats and trailers. In 1992, Nancy Swan and Alan Van Strydonk purchased the business from their parents and moved and expanded the business to its current location. Josh and Mandy Witt, owners of Power Pac in Marshfield, took over ownership in 2020. The dealership offers Polaris ATVs, UTVs and snowmobiles; Sylvan, Starcraft and Smokercraft boats, Mercury and Evinrude engines, and houses sales, financing, service and parts departments.

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