North Bend Eagle

 

 
Sealand showroom
Ross Mehaffey and Kip Voss will be working the showroom floor at North Bend's newest business.

Sealand Marine thinks move to North Bend will pay off

by Nathan Arneal
published 8/20/08

Lakeside developments have been popping up all along the Platte River in recent years. And now thanks to North Bend’s newest business, the next time lake residents need some new toys for the water, they won’t have very far to go.

Sealand Marine and RV has moved into the former L & L Lumber location on the west edge of North Bend along Highway 30. It officially opened Monday, August 11, selling and repairing boats, campers and all kinds of aquatic accessories.

Scott Stevens oversees the four locations operated by Sealand Marine. The company’s offices are located in Norfolk with other stores in Omaha and Yankton, S.D. The North Bend store replaces the company’s Columbus location.

The process that brought Sealand to North Bend began last year as Stevens was passing through town.

“I was driving from our Columbus store to our Omaha store and saw the (for sale) sign on the building,” Stevens said. “I drove past it probably three or four times and finally we called on it.”

After getting a look at the site, Stevens bought the former L & L buildings last summer. At that point he still didn’t know if he was going to use the new acquisition for storage, manufacturing, or as a store location.

“We weren’t really sure what we were going to do with it,” Stevens said, “but the opportunity was there and we decided to take advantage of it.”

This spring, Stevens was informed that the rent on Sealand’s Columbus location would be going up. That prompted the decision to move the Columbus store to North Bend, and in May of this year Sealand began remodeling its North Bend site in preparation for the move.

The largest building, covering 60,000 square feet, will be used for off-season boat and RV storage. Stevens figures to be able to fit 200 boats into the building, and he thinks it will be full this winter.

The second building, about 10,000 square feet, is split in half. One section serves as a showroom and sales office, while the other half will be the repair shop. Stevens is excited about the potential of the new store.

“One of the advantages (of the North Bend site) is I think we’re going to pull a lot of people from the Fremont area,” Steven said. “Between Fremont and Columbus there’s a lot of sand pits going up and a lot of boating going on. We actually think it’s going to be a busier store for us than the Columbus store.”

The North Bend store currently has three full-time employees, but Stevens said part-time help may be added during peak seasons.

Kip Voss, who lives in the Webster area, serves as manager of the North Bend location. He brings plenty of RV experience from his former job at DRV Products, an RV dealership in Fremont.

Scott Dubsky will handle the repair work, and North Bend native Ross Mehaffey will serve as a sales representative. Mehaffey said the chance to work at Sealand was too good to pass up.

“I enjoy fishing and camping,” he said, “and I figured this would be a good way to stay in the area and do something I enjoy.”

One of Mehaffey’s main responsibilities will be selling docks and boat lifts. All of Sealand’s dock and lift business will be based out of the North Bend location.

Sealand’s newest store sits on the north side of Highway 30, but it is currently obscured by a row of evergreen trees. Stevens said that those trees will be taken out soon, giving passers by a good look at the store and its products.

“We’re going to have excellent visibility from the highway,” he said,” and there’s enough land there that we can actually have a nice amount of inventory there.”

Sealand Marine and RV will be open six days a week, 8-6 Monday through Friday and 9-3 on Saturdays.

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