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New winter showroom

Andrea Markey
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Dec 07/05) - When Gord Olson decided to build a new showroom and workshop for Polar Tech, he knew it had to be built by Northerners.

NNSL Photo/graphic

Gord Olson, owner of Polar Tech, is quite pleased with his new location in Kam Lake. Ski-doos and accessories are proving to be popular items this holiday season, with special deliveries going out on Christmas Eve. - Daron Letts/NNSL photo

New Age Construction was the main contractor, with Independent Electric handling the lighting and wiring.

J&R Mechanical laid the in-floor heating that regulates itself based on the outside temperature.

Olson came up with the concept for the $1.6 million building and architect Mike Hilchey helped him put it on paper.

"All our money comes from the North so it makes sense to be built by Northerners," Olson said.

With that comes knowledge of Northern construction, including where to use extra insulation to keep heating costs down, he said.

Olson visited southern snowmobile dealers to see what he liked about their showroom designs.

He came up with a natural look including crushed rock for the Ski-doos to sit on.

Olson plans to install a 12-foot screen at the front of the building to showcase races and race results for people driving by.

The 11-year-old company moved to Kam Lake from Old Airport Road two months ago.

Olson hasn't regretted that decision for a moment.

"The location is great," he said. "There is lots of room for people to park. Rush-hour on Old Airport Road is not where people want to be."

Proposed plans for the main road from the highway to come along Deh Cho Boulevard were also enticing, he said.

The location also allows him to combine the construction equipment rental and recreation portions of Polar Tech under one roof.

The drive-through workshop attached to the showroom was designed with his workers in mind.

Four-foot by four-foot windows line the shop allowing for maximum natural light.

Olson also installed new fluorescent lights - the kind that don't hum - so as not to drive his 14 employees crazy, he said.

And long-term staff are important.

Many of his workers have been with him for years, and he said he couldn't have made the move without them.