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Economic Development is . . . (increasing the flow) of capital through the community and reducing its leakage.

2010 EDIES Story 16 of 24: A perfect little economic driving force for small towns

One of the unique sights of our small towns in northern Tama County might be the little golf carts lining our main streets.  Ever wonder where they come from?  Young’s Golf Carts in Dysart may be able to tell you.  Co-owner Craig Dunlap from Dysart, Iowa explains.  Remind me – what are the EDIES

HOW WE DID IT: Dean Young started Young’s Golf Cars out of his garage in the 1970’s.  By the mid 1980’s he purchased our current locations and made it a full-time occupation.  Golf was becoming more popular and there became a demand for purchasing personal golf carts and service.  By the early 1990’s the business had grown enough that he needed more help.  He asked his daughter Julie & her husband, Craig to move back from Texas to work and eventually take over the business.  Golfing in the 1990’s became a major recreational sport.  The economy was great and customers were not hesitant to have the nicest cart will all the options.  Unfortunately, over the last 10 years, golf has seen decreasing numbers.

HOW WE GOT THE IDEA: With the passing of the state ordinance allowing golf carts to be driven in city limits, more residents are aware of what we actually do and the services we provide.  Golf carts are used for daily errands, to shuttle people at functions, parades, deliver meals on wheels, the uses are endless.

OUR GREATEST CHALLENGE: Our first challenge is to create new ways for carts to be used.  Our second challenge is that customers are keeping their carts longer, creating a void for us on the cheaper trade-ins for people to buy.  Many farmers or acreage owners like cheaper carts with boxes for trips between buildings and fun when the grandchildren come for a visit.  We are also beginning to see younger adults starting to golf again.  Most of them either can’t afford or justify spending $2500.00 on up for recreation.  This is probably our biggest obstacle at this point.

HOW WE OVERCAME IT: About 10 years ago we started a winter payment plan where customers could make payments on carts purchased over the winter.  If you had a trade-in, that was your down payment and you could pick options on how to pay for your cart.  It helped us with cash flow over the winter and I believe helped out everyone that couldn’t write that one big check.  We have a web site and many people design their own cart by looking at some of the carts we have done over the years.  You can pick your color, seats, whatever options you may want added to the cart.  One of the most popular options is a stereo.  We have even installed a DVD player so his children could watch movies while he golfed. As the economy has tightened over the last five years, our total sales have gone down some and we struggled for ways to increase revenue.  We now service carts at 8 different courses in the fall providing another service.  Between people being too busy or unable to get their carts to us, we will come to you.

ADVICE TO OTHERS: Listen to your customers.  If you hear it once, remember it.  If you hear it twice, it might be something you should research further.

WHAT IS NEXT: We just want people to remember that golf carts just aren’t for golf anymore!!  Driving around campgrounds, acreages, lakes and or just around town are just a few reasons to check out a golf cart now! For more info click www.youngsgolfcars.com

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