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Black Hole Outdoors store expands outdoor offerings in Wadena

The business features their one-of-kind portable fish houses, deer stands, fish house gear and one wild snow machine.

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Brian Hagen (left) and Jason Geiss are partners in the business Black Hole Outdoors located on west Highway 10 in Wadena. They opened the new location this month, but started the Black Hole Ice Shack business over three years ago. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal
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Outgrowing a space is the hope of most business ventures and that's the case for the production and sales of the Black Hole Ice Shack, formerly produced out of Verndale.

You can now find the business cranking out fish shacks and more located west of Wadena on Highway 10, next door to Merickel Lumber. The new space formerly housed the Kal's Motorsports of the Kal's Motor Group corporation. As part of the sale, new property owner Brian Hagen said he expects four different businesses to be running out of the large building in the coming months.

Most of the western half of the business is devoted to sales and production of the Black Hole Ice Shack, a portable fish house on a multi-use trailer that can crank down and back up and be on its way. You can even haul an ATV or UTV on the trailer when you fold down the canvas shelter.

Partners in the outdoors business are Hagen and Jason Geis. Geis developed the idea for the fish house, which has now developed into a year round shelter. By switching out canvas covers you can use an insulated cover in the winter, a tent like cover in the summer and a canvas camouflage cover for use during hunting excursions as a blind. Hagen is amazed at the company's growth in these last three years. They're selling their houses throughout Minnesota,the Dakotas, Wisconsin, Iowa and have sent others out to Wyoming, New York and beyond. They currently have about 60-70 of their trailers on order.

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DJ Roggenkamp (right) and Justin Engholm work to take down a Black Hole Ice Shack with a hunting blind cover in the rear of the new Black Hole Outdoors location. The two work as assemblers for the company. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal

"We're trying to make it a 12 month company," Hagen said. In other words, they don't just want to appeal to customers around the ice fishing season, but all seasons. And as they continue to develop new ideas for the heart of the business, the ice shack, they reach closer to that goal.

"It's really evolved to a utility trailer you can use all year long," Geis said.

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Ice fishing shack business sees slick sales just a year into operation

An ice fishing sensation is now built in Verndale

With the move to a new location came the opportunity to expand their sales. They now have deer stands, ice fishing shelter accessories, spearing equipment and a single ski snowmobile that no one else in Minnesota even sells, the Ruffian Snowbike . The showroom includes accessories to finish off your shelter including lighting systems from Hawg Outdoor, battery systems from Amped Outdoors and clamp-on accessories from Quick Clamp. Geiss said what you find here, is not what you find at the big box stores.

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"The rare finds," as Geis described it.

The products at Black Hole Outdoors are largely American made and from companies either run by veterans or those that support veterans. That's a feature near and dear to Geis as he is extremely supportive of the military and veterans. They also like to brand their equipment with the Black Hole colors of black and neon green that really stand out.

The move allows for a large display area inside as well as room for models out in the parking lot. The back area boasts enough room to assemble the hybrid shelters, too.

"The showroom turned out awesome," Geis said. More room has allowed the group to put together their products more efficiently too. That's important as they look to have their best year yet.

You can visit Black Hole Outdoors at 706 Ash Ave NW in Wadena. Their hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday - Friday.

He's a writer, editor, photographer, truth seeker and promoter of the Wadena area.
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