For outdoors enthusiasts seeking a new experience, Polaris Adventures might just be the ticket.
Launched in November 2017, Polaris Adventures offers “ride-and-drive” experiences through a nationwide network of partnering outfitters.
Whether it’s RZR side-by-side vehicles, highway-licensed Slingshot roadsters or snowmobiles -- in areas where there’s snow, of course -- those vehicle-rental experiences are available across the country.
“From Maine to Maui,” the slogan goes.
“The vision is to introduce new folks to the power sports market,” said Kristin Golliher of WildRock, a Fort Collins, Colo.-based firm that works with the company to market Polaris Adventures. “What’s really cool is we’re seeing the majority of customers that haven’t experienced Polaris before or Polaris Adventures so they’re really getting out and exploring in new ways.”
I first learned about Polaris Adventures last month, when I wrote a story about the 65th anniversary of Polaris, which was founded in Roseau, Minn., and now is headquartered in Medina, Minn. Since its launch less than 2 years ago, Polaris Adventures today has more than 115 outfitters across the country, Golliher said, including the first two in Minnesota: Power Lodge Slingshot Rentals in Brainerd and MN Wheelin’ Off-Road Rentals in Crane Lake. In South Dakota, adventures in Black Hills National Forest and Spearfish Falls are available through Spearfish Canyon Lodge in Lead, S.D.
No outfitters are yet available in North Dakota.
Booking an adventure on a Polaris vehicle is as easy as going to www.adventures.polaris.com and picking a destination; all bookings can be done online. Once guests arrive at their location, the outfitters provide vehicle and safety instructions. A valid driver’s license is required, and some outfitters may have age restrictions for drivers and passengers, but all of that information can be worked out ahead of time. State regulations governing the use of the vehicles apply.
Outfitters provide helmets and goggles, and all of the vehicles are equipped with the latest mapping technology.
Check out the website for all of the specifics.
“A lot of these people going out and exploring in a different way are new to the Polaris vehicles,” Golliher said. “Some of them have never even heard of a RZR before.”
Rates and adventures vary by location, and the experience is catching on, Golliher says. The numbers prove it: In 2018, Polaris Adventures booked 30,000 rides, and as of this past June already had booked more than 60,000 adventures, she said.
“Really, the riders can pick their own experience,” Golliher said. “Some people just want to go out for a quick two-hour jaunt” while others ride all day.
Lodging even is available on-site through some of the outfitters.
In terms of demographics, the average Polaris Adventures consumer travels about 700 miles to reach a destination, and there’s basically a 60/40 split between males and females, Golliher says.
“The average rider is around 40 years old so once again, most have disposable income, and they’re looking to do a different type of adventure on their vacation,” she said. “Over 60 percent of those riders are on group rides so they’re traveling with friends and family and doing group rentals rather than as individuals.”
To take a virtual tour of adventures, find more information or book a trip online, check out the Polaris Adventures website at adventures.polaris.com.
Maybe it was wishful thinking on my part, but I jumped the gun and erred in last Sunday’s column about North Dakota’s much-anticipated pheasant brood count surveys that were expected to be released any day.
I mistakenly wrote that pheasant season opens Oct. 5 for residents and Oct. 12 for nonresidents. That’s wrong, of course; the two-day youth season opens Saturday, Oct. 5, and the statewide pheasant season opens Saturday, Oct. 12. For the first week of pheasant season through Friday, Oct. 18, nonresidents are not allowed to hunt on Game and Fish Department-managed wildlife management areas or land enrolled in the Private Land Open to Sportsmen program.
My bad on that one.
In case you missed the story early this past week, North Dakota’s statewide count of pheasants observed per 100 miles is up 10% from last year, and overall brood numbers are up 17%. Look for more information on pheasant hunting prospects in a couple of weeks as opening day approaches.