The pandemic has left Fairbanks with a drought of recreational winter vehicles

Published: Dec. 30, 2020 at 5:06 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Those looking to spend the start of the new year riding through Alaska’s many trails in a new snow machine or ATV may face challenges acquiring one due to the COVID-19 pandemic. John Haddad, owner of Outpost Alaska told us about the cause of this unusual shortage of recreational winter vehicles.

“The virus has created numerous different scenarios in every aspect of life in retail. As of right now ATVs, snow machines, and everything are still extremely hot sales wise,” said Haddad.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented discrepancy in the supply and demand of snow vehicles in Fairbanks, Alaska. Haddad said “Basically all your power sports dealers, I think most of your car dealers and truck dealers all just got heavy, heavy traffic.”

According to Haddad, this is the first time a discrepancy like this has occurred in the business. “Here at the Outpost in the month of June, out of 21 years, it was the biggest month we ever had for retail sales ever. So we go from barely surviving during the height of the pandemic with the lockdown, to absolute chaos in the building. We sold over 250 off-road vehicles in 3 weeks, which is usually about 6 months worth of business.”

To exacerbate the issue, the pandemic has impacted the supply of these vehicles even more than it has affected the demand. According to Haddad this isn’t isolated to Alaska - dealers in Washington and across the northwest are experiencing a similar drought of available vehicles.

“With production lines being shut down, or come to a stand still... I know Honda is still doing social distancing at their plant in South Carolina, so Honda vehicles are real hard to come by today. The manufacturing hasn’t caught up. It’s crazy, I don’t even know how to prepare to order for the next season. As of last week, we actually have seven snow machines left for sale which will probably be gone by Sunday,” Said Haddad.

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