After more than 65 years of manufacturing farming equipment in Weld County, Harsh International is expanding its product to include something a little bit more light-hearted.
Harsh Powersports, 600 Oak Ave., Eaton, held its grand opening last Saturday. The new retail branch of the Harsh company will sell all-terrain vehicles and other sport utility vehicles.
“All of our customers, they like to play,” said Bob Brown, Harsh president. “They work hard and play hard.”
Brown said they have been remodeling what was once a warehouse to make it the perfect retail space.
He said about a year ago they started selling an ATV, and they enjoyed the whimsical nature of it.
“It’s a fun way to get into something that’s more light-hearted and fun. It’s actually a different kind of fun,” he said. “We really enjoy manufacturing and will continue to do it forever.”
But for the first time in it’s history, Harsh is selling equipment that it didn’t make. It is bringing in only American-made sport vehicles and equipment because, Brown said, they think that’s important.
“We’re an American manufacturer,” he said. “We hate that manufacturing has been moving off shore the last couple decades.”
Brown said they are working with Arctic Cat, Segway and Bad Boy Mowers to bring in equipment that fits the bill.
“It’s a whole bunch of American companies. American made, American born,” Brown said. “We’re kind of flexing our muscles a bit to get people really thinking American.
Brown said that although many of the items they’ll be selling are “big kid toys,” some of them are used for more serious things like search and rescue as well as in the oil and gas field.
“No matter how you cut it, they’re fun to drive and it will get you to places you can’t get to any other way except walking.”
Bridgett Weaver covers business and politics in Weld County. To contact her email email@example.com or follow her on Twitter at @cityofbridgetts.