Ice-Fishing House Builder Expands Into Pine River

Claiming to have the majority market share of its industry, American Surplus and Manufacturing is opening a new facility in Pine River that it said will bring 20 jobs to the city.

American Surplus and Manufacturing (ASM), a Montevideo-based specialty ice-fishing house builder, is expanding into Pine River with a new manufacturing facility.
 
ASM plans to develop a new manufacturing plant on the former site of a Chrysler dealership in Pine River, which is about 30 miles north of Brainerd. The company said production is expected to begin this spring.
 
To assist with the expansion, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) provided the company with a low-interest loan of $107,500. DEED said the new facility will bring 20 new jobs to the area.
 
“American Surplus is a successful company that has found a business niche tied to the great Minnesota tradition of ice fishing and other outdoor recreational activities,” DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben said in a statement. “We’re pleased to help the company bring more jobs to Minnesota and look forward to watching the business’ continued success.”
 
Under the brand name Ice Castle, ASM builds “luxury” ice-fishing houses that feature kitchens, bathrooms, satellite TVs, multi-speaker stereos, and electrically heated beds. One of its largest units, the “King’s Castle,” is 8 feet by 30 feet with a furnace, bunk beds, a bay window, and eight holes (with lights) for ice fishing.
 
The houses are similar to RV units and are mounted on wheels so they can move from one fishing site to another. The units also contain air-conditioning systems so they can transition from ice-fishing houses to hunting shacks or summer cabins. The cost of the company’s houses range from roughly $5,000 to more than $35,000.
 
ASM claims it has a 56 percent market share of its industry in Minnesota.
 
According to DEED, the company employs about 90 people at its current manufacturing facility in Montevideo. The company said the new facility will operate under the name Northern Sales and Manufacturing.