After remodeling and relocating to a bigger building in Detroit Lakes just six months ago, Outlet Recreation has announced it will again be expanding in the community, opening a second location this spring to operate two separate stores here -- one an RV Outlet and the other a Marine Center.
Currently, Outlet Recreation has one store in town, at 605 U.S. Highway 10 East, that sells both RVs and watercraft. That store opened this past September, after a months-long remodeling project inside and out (the building had previously housed the Boys & Girls Club Thrift Store, which moved to the west end of town).
By this spring, Outlet Recreation will also reopen the doors of its former store, at 1015 Highway 59 South, after the completion of a major remodeling project that’s now underway there.
That location, which had been Outlet Recreation's home in Detroit Lakes since the company came here in late 2013, will serve as “a full-on RV center,” according to general manager Tony Stock, while the Highway 10 store will become “a full-on marine center.”
Splitting the inventory up this way, Stock said, will be good for the company as well as customers: It’ll give Outlet Recreation more room for more inventory, “so we’ll have better selection, more product on hand, more lot space,” and will also “give customers a better experience, with staff dedicated to each part of the business.”
Outlet Recreation sells recreational vehicles like motorhomes, fifth wheels and golf carts, as well as marine products like boats, pontoons and fish houses. It also offers parts and service.
When the second location opens, that store will have its own expanded service center for RVs, Stock said, allowing the existing service center to focus on watercraft and doubling the company’s total number of shop bays in town. That should mean more business for the service department, and faster appointment availability for people wanting service work -- another win-win.
The company’s recent endeavors have created about 10 to 15 new jobs in Detroit Lakes, in everything from sales to service to lot foremen, Stock said. Some positions have already been posted; others will be in the coming months.
“We’re cementing ourselves into the community, to hopefully be here for many, many more years to come,” Stock said. “Detroit Lakes is a thriving recreational community and I can’t ever see that stopping… We think this is a good fit for us.”
Stock has lived with his family in Detroit Lakes since 1996, and he said Outlet Recreation’s owners, Mike Larson and Jim Glenn, “are local people here, too… We feel strongly about Detroit Lakes. Even with all the crazy stuff going on in the world right now, it’s just a good area. Businesses helping businesses, all the time. It’s a good community.”
Outlet Recreation sold its RV center in West Fargo to Camping World in November 2020, and will be moving inventory from there to Detroit Lakes as part of its expansion plans here. The company still operates a marine store in Fargo, and also has stores in Clearwater and Cross Lake, Minn.
Detroit Lakes “is going to be a big location” for the company after the second store opens, Stock said.
He said the indoor showroom at the Highway 10 Outlet Recreation store is the largest one around: “I don’t know of anybody that’s got a bigger indoor showroom in the state of Minnesota.”
That newly remodeled building also features a customer lounge area with coffee, snacks and tables, plus a large parts and service department, multiple offices for the staff, big overhead doors for getting product in and out, new LED lighting throughout, new bathrooms and new floors.
“It’s really like a brand new building,” said Stock. “The exterior’s probably the biggest difference that people notice. Once we get some of the bigger inventory off this lot and out to the other spot, you’ll really get a nice, good view of the building from the front.”
The remodeling project at the Highway 59 location will be very similar to what’s been done at the current store, he added, with the inside getting gutted and redone while the outside receives “a facelift” to match the look of the Highway 10 store.