Harper Powersports and Marine readies to build in Minden, opens new location in Haliburton
By Jenn Watt
May 14, 2019
Work is underway to prepare the former Sears building in Haliburton to become the third location for Harper Powersports and Marine, set to open Saturday, June 1. The 10,000-square-foot building will offer a convenient location for customers who live or cottage north of Haliburton, and in the short term it will offer a space for staff to continue work while the Minden location is rebuilt.
“The Minden store at the beginning of June is going to come down,” says general manager Dan Bursey, who owns Harper Powersports and Marine with his brother-in-law Steve Harper.
The Highway 35 location, just south of Minden, is about 4,000 square feet including the basement. The new building will be three times the size with a state-of-the-art shop.
Bursey says the business, which up until purchasing the Sears building and property had two locations – one on Hwy 35 and the other on County Road 21 between Minden and Haliburton – has simply outgrown the space.
Harper Powersports and Marine has been operating in the Highlands since 2012. Bursey says the business – and the community – has been steadily growing the whole time.
“Pretty much every aspect has grown. Our sales with Sea-Doo, Ski-Doo, Can-Am, and our boat lines, there’s nothing we haven’t grown,” he says.
The family-run business employs between 20 and 25 people, depending on the season.
With that many employees, heading into the summer, the Sears building was the right place at the right time. When the Minden location is complete, all three locations will be operational.
Harper Powersports and Marine is an authorized BRP dealer. They sell Sea-Doo, Ski-Doo, Can-Am, Evinrude and Mercury, Glastron and Scarab boats, pontoons, fishing packages and accessories as well as high-end boats such as Supra and Moomba. Along with sales, service and storage, customers also rent boats, Sea-Doos and even paddleboards.
No matter which location a customer visits, Bursey says they have access to all of the same products and services. “They can purchase here and even though the unit’s at the other location, it can be brought up for them. And we deliver,” he says.
Once the Minden building is complete, Bursey says he and Harper are hoping to develop the four acres across from their County Road 21 location. That development would include a large building with heated storage.
“It’s a great feeling for us and everybody here,” he says of this year’s expansion.
The Highway 35 location will be open until the last week of May, when staff will transition to the Haliburton location starting June 1. The County Road 21 location will remain open as usual.
Bursey says he expects the new Minden building to open in October.
Those calling the Minden number will have their calls forwarded, so no one is missed. There is also a new number for Haliburton: 705-457-2848. Their website is www.harper-marine.com.