If thoughts of open water, warm breezes and sunshine that leaves a mark are outweighing memories of mosquitoes, wood ticks and mowing, it might mean a serious case of spring fever.
A new boat dealer in Merrifield by Lake Edward and North Long Lake is hoping the fever is quite contagious. Doug and Katie Erickson are the owners of a new business — Highway 3 Marine on County Highway 3. The marine dealership handles Warrior boats, which are manufactured in Minnesota.
It was a small engine shop, which the Ericksons renovated into a marine showroom and marine sales and service business last summer. The business sells the Warrior boats and offers small engine maintenance, cleaning and repair for lawnmovers, snowblowers and the like. The Ericksons employ a couple of mechanics as well, including a certified Evinrude mechanic. The business also offers boat, snowmobile and fish house storage.
Doug Erickson graduated from Brainerd High School in 2000. Katie Erickson, a Forestview Middle School teacher, is from Perham. Erickson said the small engine repair work runs about $68 an hour and a marine repair rate is $79 an hour.
Erickson said they aim to stand out from the competition by catering to the fishing community, carrying fishing boats and focusing on what anglers are interested in for accessories.
The Warrior brand, 17 foot to 21 foot fiberglass models, come in a variety of walleye style fishing boats, both tiller boats and those with steering wheels. They customize boats to order from color to motors to interior features.
Erickson said the Warrior boats, while new to the Brainerd area are sold out of Longville. The boat brand started in the late 1980s in Maple Lake but later lapsed. Erickson said a group of his friends restarted the Warrior boats in 2011, building a new manufacturing facility in Melrose. Erickson said they make about 100 boats a year and are growing.
Utrinkets, a full service yarn, gifts and antiques shop, is moving from Smiley Road in Nisswa into the former Bead Box space on Laurel Street in downtown Brainerd. Utrinkets is making the move now and plans to reopen in Brainerd about March 1.
Birgit’s Jewelers is moving from the strip mall near the East Brainerd Mall to the Westport Mall in Baxter, next to China Buffet and near Pizza Hut. Expectations are for the move to be completed in May. Birgit’s Jewelers has been an East Brainerd business mainstay for many years, going back to a time when the Montgomery Ward store was in the East Brainerd Mall before moving into the nearby strip mall.
Wausau Paper reported the pre-tax closure charges related to closing the estimated to be $47 million, with non-cash charges, primarily related to the write-down of long-lived assets, accounting for about $44 million of the total.
“First quarter, pre-tax closure charges of approximately $36 million are expected with the remaining charges occurring over the balance of 2013,” Wausau Paper reported. “After considering income tax liabilities and the anticipated reduction in working capital, the cash impact of the closure is expected to be neutral on a cumulative basis.”
On April 13 — from noon to 4 p.m. — the Butler Building will be open to the public for a community expo.
Butler Building owner Sylvia Allen recently reported the first floor of the historic downtown Aitkin landmark building was renovated. Restoration work to the second floor opera house is nearly complete. “Woodwork throughout the entire building has been refinished, the historic decorative plaster work has been restored, the opera house has been painted to reflect the original color; the grand staircase has been refinished, lighting has been replaced and the building is now (American with Disabilities Act) complaint, complete with a new elevator.”
During the April open house, Allen reports visitors are welcome to stop by, browse the merchants and enjoy some light refreshments while viewing the renovation.
TBP Management is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Butler Building, a nonprofit owned and operated by Allen.
For more information on the Butler Project restoration or how to get involved with the project, contact Allen at 732-946-2711 or visit www.thebutlerbuilding.org.
RE/MAX Lake Realty was named the leasing agent for the Butler Building in Aitkin. Patrick Wiebusch, broker owner of RE/MAX Lake Area Realty and Don Newpower, broker, are representatives handling leasing of the building.