By Lori Roach
Fun Country Powersports has been a part of The Dalles landscape for more than 50 years and is the 4th oldest Honda dealership in the northwest, so 15 years ago when Mike and Lisa Erland purchased the business from George Hazel, who had owned it for 40 years, they knew they were buying more than just a motorcycle dealership, they were buying into a way of life.
Before purchasing Fun Country Powersports Mike taught special education programs and was a part of the administration at the Goldendale School District, the same place he went to school and where his parents had also taught. “I even promoted motor sports when I was teaching,” said Mike, who has raced motorcycles from time to time throughout his life..
Fun Country Powersports has a full line of ATV’s, motorcycles, and snowmobiles. The store is filled with all types of accessories including riding gloves, helmets, goggles, clothing, safety gear, parts, tires…you name it they have it if it has to do with powersports. They also have the trained technicians to fix whatever type of trouble you run into in regards to your ATV, motorcycle or snowmobile.
Mike attributes much of his success to his wife, his grown children and their 15 employees.
According to Mike, Lisa is very skilled in the parts department and does a great job keeping all the finances in order for the business. She is recognized as a leader in the industry and in the past Honda had requested she teach classes for them.
“I am blessed with my staff, they are like a well-oiled machine and they are part of the decision making,” said Mike. His sons, Alec and Aaron, have both worked at the store, Alec started working there right out of high school and is now the general manager. Recently Erland’s daughter Sarah also started working with them as the marketing manager in charge of events and promotions.
The 7th Annual Snow Show is the next event of their agenda. November 16th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Fun Country Powersports at 1318 W. 2nd Street in The Dalles. There will be vendor demos, product specials, and preseason deals on accessories, apparel, safety gear, plows, snowmobiles, timbersleds and more.
“We believe in shopping local, right down to my knee replacement,” said Mike, who believes in supporting the community as much as possible.
“It’s been a lot of fun growing this company. We truly care about our customers and want to give them the ‘family owned business’ feel when they walk through our doors.”
Their biggest customer base comes from Portland, but customers also come from Washington, Idaho and even Montana.
“We take time to hear our customer’s stories,” said Sarah, “We truly care about them and want them to have a good experience when they come here. Over the years we have created a business model that revolves around treating customers and employees just like family,” said Sarah. “It is a very special thing to say that we, as a family, work day-to-day with each other and those that work alongside us have become part of the family too. We have a responsibility to ensure that anyone who walks through our doors feel taken care of and know we appreciate them. Without our customers, our community, or our employees we would just be a powersports store. But when all of these weave together we give meaning to being a true “family business,” and as our company moves through generations I hope that people will always refer to Fun Country as such.”
At one time Fun Country Powersports was housed within a 3,000 sq. ft. building, their newest building is 12,000 sq. ft.
“Always treat people with respect.” said Mike. “Give them the time of day! Learn to work for what you need; be modest; truly be part of the solution in all of your actions. Honesty, integrity, respect & benevolence–these are words that my family and staff hear with regard to interacting with others.”
Next time you are in The Dalles stop in at Fun Country Powersports, even if you don’t need a motorcycle, an ATV or a snowmobile. Their showroom is absolutely impressive, the staff is welcoming and the family values feel is undeniable.