fastˍtrax-craigˍmaasdam.jpg It’s no secret that Craig Maasdam is a die hard snowmobiler. And you have to wonder if back in 1975 in Ironwood, MI, when Craig won the US/Canada National Junior Division of Snowmobiling, if he had any idea he would be selling snowmobiles back in his hometown of Sully, Iowa, some day. In March of 1995, Craig’s passion also became his business. “I was working construction with my father and it was always slow in the winters,” remembered Craig. “I started selling snowmobiles on the side during the winter just to stay busy.” Craig purchased the “trailer court” that was on 1st Avenue in Sully and cleaned up the trailers and put up a storage rental building before building his first Fast Trax location.

“I was at a grass drag race at the Amana Colonies in the mid-1990s and was talking to the guy next to me about how I wanted to get into the business of selling snowmobiles, watercraft, and sport utility vehicles and believe it or not he was actually a sales rep for Ski-Doo,” remembered Craig. Fast Trax carries Ski-Doo Snowmobiles, Can-Am ATVs, Ski-Doo Watercraft, Kawasaki Motorcycles, ATVs, and sport utility vehicles. Fast Trax also carries clothing lines of Alpinestar, Thor, Kawasaki, and other after-market clothing and parts.

Craig and his son, Curtis, handle the daily affairs of the business. Curtis does 90% of all service work. “We service everything we sell and offer full-line warranties for all of our brands,” said Craig. Curtis joined Fast Trax full-time in 2001 and enjoys working in the business with this father.

In 2002, Fast Trax purchased the Sully Auto Body property and began making plans for a new location about a block from their old location, but a location with much more traffic. “We were short on space,” said Craig. “The old showroom was 1,465 square feet and our new showroom is 2,480 square feet. Plus we have another 1,200 square feet that will be dedicated to used inventory and our storage and service area is larger as well.” A great frontage location with ample parking is another added benefit for the new location.

Over the years, Craig had been enticed to move his business to Newton but likes being close to home. “But I chose this location on First Street and built this new building on my own, not using any city tax dollars,” said Craig. Fast Trax officially opened at their new location on May 8, 2010, and held their grand opening June 12, 2010.

Craig used several local contractors to help build his new building and lots of planning and thought went into this “first-class” showroom. “I wanted the showroom to have a vintage 1930s and 40s look,” said Craig. “There is no concrete under the floor, it is a hollow wood floor made out of 2 ¼” rough white oak with a natural tongue oil finish. The ceiling is made out of white cedar.” Throughout the showroom, Craig has several vintage motorcycles and snowmobiles on display, including his very own 1975 snowmobile that he won the 1975 National Junior Division Championship with. Also on display is a 1965 Kawasaki, 1965 Ski-Doo, 1974 mini-bike, as well as numerous vintage accessories from a 1920s ceiling fan, old desk fan, copper light fixtures from the 1920s, and even old, original barn lights.

Fast Trax was one of the first to introduce Mountain snowmobiles in Iowa and is one of the two largest Mountain snowmobile dealers in Iowa. When Craig first opened for business there were four other snowmobile competitors south of I-80, now he is the only one left in the area selling snowmobiles with his closest competitor being in Des Moines. In the ATV and watercraft market, there are a few more competitors in the Pella/Newton area. “But we attract a wide area of customers,” shared Craig. “For our watercraft and sports utility, we probably have customers from the 50-mile radius of Sully, for snowmobiles, we see guys travel a lot further, closer to 80-100 miles away.”

Word of mouth is Craig’s best form of advertising. “We have also done some trade magazine advertising and are a member of the Iowa Motorcycle Dealer Association.” Fast Trax is also developing a website online to gain more exposure.

Snowmobiles are the largest selling item for Fast Trax and this past winter saw a boom in business with all the snow in Iowa. Their busiest time of year for sales is December and January. Service work is very busy in September and October, winterizing the summer products and getting the winter equipment ready for the season. Fast Trax has plenty of summer inventory of watercraft, motorcycles, and four-wheelers to check out.

In Craig’s spare time, he enjoys vintage motorcycle racing and is part of the Des Moines/Saylorville Snowmobile Club. He also likes to take a couple snowmobile trips with other guys from the area. Craig is married to Barbra and they have three children, Curtis, Monica, and Shelby. Monica works for Konek CPAs and Konek will be opening an office at the Fast Trax location starting in July as well. “Right now Konek has an office up town at Van Der Zyl’s one day a week, but will be staffing an office in my new building two to three days a week offering accounting services to the area.” Konek will have a separate entrance on the east side of the Fast Trax building. Recent challenges for Fast Trax have included the economy and understanding people’s spending habits and how their business needs change based on their customers. “People have to get out and think positively,” said Craig. “A new challenge for us will be learning what to stock since we have more room now, knowing what inventory to carry and how much.”

Fast Trax has new hours of Monday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Stop in today and check out Fast Trax’s new showroom, it’s guaranteed you will not be disappointed, a worth while stop in our small town.

By Faye Brand (July 2010), Publisher of Hometown Press, Sully, 641.594.3200