Harper makes way for new building
By Chad Ingram
Harper Powersports and Marine is embarking on the construction of a new and much larger facility at its Highway 35 property south of Minden.
Demolition of the longstanding building on the property, the former home of Prentice Powersports, began on June 6. Paul Prentice, who sold his business to Harper in 2012, was on hand for the occasion.
As Prentice explained, his father, Bill, who’d been in the road construction business, had begun selling snowmobiles from a Highway 35 property in 1966, alongside his father. That property is where the Hydro One work yard is located today.
In 1969, the family moved the business to the property south of Minden.
“I came back in 1973,” Prentice, having left Minden for a period, explains. “Up until then, they just had a very small, little office.”
Along with snowmobiles, the Prentices eventually began selling ATVs, Sea-Doos and other watercraft.
“We expanded into the marine business,” Prentice said.
Through the 1980s, he ran the business alongside his brother-in-law, eventually becoming the sole owner. Prentice said the wooden building that was coming down last Thursday morning was constructed in the mid-80s.
Prentice, who even got the demolition underway, was asked if it was difficult to watch the building come down.
“It is and it isn’t,” he said. “There’s a lot of memories, of course. But I’m really proud to see Steve and Dan being successful.”
Brothers-in-law Steve Harper and Dan Bursey co-own Harper Powersports and Marine, Bursey serving as general manager. Bursey told the Minden Times the new, 12,000-square-foot building is expected to be ready for Oct. 1. The $2-million project will triple the amount of floor space provided by the former buildings on the property.
Along with its Minden location, Harper operates a marina along County Road 21 between Minden and Haliburton, and recently purchased the 10,000-square-foot former Sears building along Highway 118 just outside Haliburton Village. Staff will be working from that location during construction at the Minden site.
Those calling the Minden location will have their calls forwarded. Customers can also call 705-457-2848, or visit www.harper-marine.com.