LAKE LINDEN - While in the market for his own side-by-side ATV, Torch Lake Cabin's owner Dan LaVergne had an idea - to start selling them himself.
"That's how all of this got started. I was looking for one for myself," he said of his latest business venture, TLC Motorsports, which opened the first of the year. "They're an absolute blast to ride."
TLC Motorsports is located just outside of Lake Linden off M-26 near where Dan and his wife Christina own and operate Torch Lake Cabins. Motorsport enthusiasts will find a fleet of 2009 products, including side-by-sides, four wheelers and dune buggies in a range of colors on display in the lot next to the highway.
TLC Motorsports owner Dan LaVergne stands beside the sign of his new business in Lake Linden.
"I always stock a good selection of colors," Dan said. "If you don't stock it, you can't sell it."
TLC Motorsports specializes in CF MOTO ATVs and UTV side-by-sides, which come with a one year parts and labor warranty. CF MOTO has been in business since the 1980s and had the number two best-selling 500cc ATV in Canada last year. The U.S. branch of the company is based in Minneapolis , Minn., therefore, receiving parts takes only one to three days.
"We offer the best warranty in the industry. While most offer a 6-month warranty, we offer one full year, with extended warranties available," he said. "We also sell Dazon dune buggies and 2006 blowout CPI ATVs."
On top of that, his prices can't be beat.
"Our 500cc, 38 horsepower side-by-sides sell for $7,495 and that includes a winch, built-in MP3 player, aluminum wheels, a high-end backseat, high-low range, locking differential, and tons of ground clearance," he said. "I have accessories readily available. We've got tops, windshields, plows, backseat kits and more. There's a lot of options for you to make modifications."
"I just ordered two pallets of plows, tire chains, and accessories for various makes and models of ATVs and UTVs, including CF MOTO, Polaris, and Arctic Cat, to name a few," he added. "I will beat anyone's price on plows. And don't worry about not having a winch to lift a plow, I also have lifts coming on this order as well."
Dan services everything he sells in his fully-equipped repair shop. Having worked for Lindrus Chevrolet-Oldsmobile in Hancock for 15 years, he has a strong background in the automotive industry. Dan started out as a service technician before assuming other positions including service writer and service manager. He also worked in the parts department for a while before moving into sales.
"That's another reason I decided to do this," he said of his experience in sales and service. "With that background, I spun it into this. I love talking to and helping customers."
Since Dan opened TLC Motorsports, he has sold 13 side-by-sides. Each of his customers has been 100 percent satisfied, which is important when you are in business in a small community.
"I'm very conscientious about what I'm selling. I won't sell junk because it will come back to haunt me," Dan explained, adding next year he hopes to expand his inventory. "I'm selling a great product for an awesome price."
TLC Motorsports will be exhibiting all of its products at the Calumet-Keweenaw Sportmen's Club Gun & Sports Show at the Calumet Colosseum on August 14th and 15th.
"Stop by and check them out," Dan encouraged.
What business comes down to for both Dan and Christina is the philosophy of taking care of people.
"We have the Torch Lake Cabins and now, TLC Motorsports - the TLC goes along the lines of tender loving care and represents how we treat our guests and customers," Dan said. "Like our sign out front says, 'TLC Motor Sports, where quality, fun and affordability come together.'"
Open year-round, the Torch Lake Cabins serve as the perfect home-away-from-home and are only a 15-minute drive from Houghton, Hancock and MIchigan Tech University .
TLC Motorsports is located at 52898 M-26 in Lake Linden. Business hours are 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends.
For more information, call 296-5220 or (800) 584-5220.
Editor's note: This feature is part of a paid advertising package purchased by TLC Motorsports of Lake Linden. Businesses interested in being featured on the Business page may call Yvonne Robillard at 483-2220.