When Ian Kossowan received a call inviting him to Riverside Motosports to celebrate the business’s 50th anniversary on Dec. 30, he didn’t expect to walk out of the store $9,000 richer.
Riverside Motosports invited 30 shoppers from the past year to participate in a key challenge. With a flick of the wrist the winning key would make a motorcycle come to life, and the key holder would earn back the money they spent at the store over the year.
“I was surprised, I didn’t expect it to go off,” he said. “I was the luck of the draw. When it got down to the last five, I thought ‘chances are getting better’.”
Kossowan won the cost of his Yamaha Venture GT snowmobile at the event.
The day not only brought joy to an unsuspecting customer, but also to the owner of the business. Chad Perrott has watched Riverside Motosports grow over the past 50 years from the time his family initially started the business.
“Who would ever think you’d be in business for 50 years? Looking back at my dad and his uncle for building this, this was their lives. They spent every dime they had,” he said. “They slowly built this business to what it is.”
Riverside Motosports at one time sat along Sturgeon River, but made the move to Inglewood Drive in 1994. Together with Riverside Honda and Ski-Doo, which his uncle owns, the two businesses moved to a location with bigger square footage.
The building they purchased was previously used as a Beaver Lumber building.
Danny Yaggey started working at Riverside Motosports when he was 14 years old. He swept floors and stocked shelves for work experience until 1988 when he was promoted to the sales floor. 35 years later, Yaggey is now the general manager.
“This has been my life and they’re my family too,” he said. “So it’s been a pretty awesome journey.”
Yaggey said Riverside Motosports has faced hardships over the years. Being a business that sells items like motorcycles, quads and snowmobiles, when the economy crashes, sales dwindle.
“These are toys, so normally people will stop buying toys first if they’re tight on funds,” he said. “Our philosophy was always to treat people good, with ethical, responsible business practices, which in turn, when things got tough, customers were still loyal to us.”
Customers always come first at the business, which Yaggey said carried them through difficult times. He said people who walked through the doors are never pushed to make a purchase not right for them.
“Anytime we see a customer leave here with a smile on their faces, is actually what keeps us really motivated,” he said. “They’re buying toys and enjoying them with their families, we have generations of families come through.”
Perrott said he was impressed with Saturday’s turnout, especially since temperatures reached -27 C.