Clam Outdoors Turns Ice Into Gold

How precast helped fuel the growth of a Minnesotan institution

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December 11, 2018 |
Clam Outdoors

In the state of Minnesota, winter is unavoidable. Every year Minnesotans can look forward to each of the state’s 10,000 lakes freezing with a topcoat of ice solid enough to support a semi-trailer. It’s no wonder this state is home to the granddaddy of ice fishing accommodations: Clam Outdoors.

Since its humble beginnings in founder Dave Genz’s garage 35 years ago, Clam Outdoors has grown beyond his expectations. In fact, many credit the Minnesota company with revolutionizing the sport of ice fishing.

“At first, my wife Patsy sewed the fish houses on her machine. We made five that first year, 20 the next, and 80 the third year,” commented Genz. “It’s the American dream—we started in our garage and now it’s the No.1  selling fish house in the world. I never dreamed it would get as big as it has.”

Genz sold the licensing rights to Clam in 1992 but has continued to work for the company as a promoter, ambassador and advisor. Annual sales for Clam Outdoors’ ice houses are now in the tens of thousands, making them the world leader in ice house sales.

When the time came to expand, Clam’s leadership approached Kinghorn Construction, a design-build general contractor in Rogers, Minnesota. Kinghorn partnered with Fabcon Precast to erect the 150,000 sq. ft. facility that Clam now calls home. The new building is large enough to accommodate all of Clam’s brands and operations, which were previously spread out across multiple facilities.

 Clam Outdoors Fabcon

“It was especially nice to finally have the whole team under one roof,” said owner Dave Osborne. The new facility gave Clam the opportunity to grow and come together as an organization.

“The move into the new world headquarters has been transformative,” said Steve Geersten, Clam’s president. “We’ve experienced record setting sales growth in both our industry-leading ice fishing lines and off-road Polar Trailer products. Add to that the great success we’ve had with the launch of our summer screen tents and summer fishing products, and you’ve got a rapidly changing set of physical needs. The company now has the space it needs to maintain our plans for continued, aggressive growth.”

Fabcon sales engineer Aaron Gordon explained that their panels were a perfect fit for Clam’s world headquarters.

“Their plan called for 24 dock doors of varying sizes and the possibility of an additional 12 doors in future expansion,” Gordon said. “Our 10-foot panels make it a lot easier to execute that particular feature. They were so pressed for space in their existing facility, Clam was really motivated to get into the new space. We had their new home enclosed within 13 days of the footings being completed.”

Fabcon truck

Their current site has the potential for an additional 50,000 square feet of expansion. Thanks to the modular aspects of Fabcon’s panels, expanding that footprint will be quick and much less disruptive than it would have been with most other forms of construction. If the plan calls for it, existing wall panels can even be detached and repurposed in the addition.

More stories can be found at FABCONSTORIES.COM

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