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Ray's Sport and Marine grand opening set for March 8-10

The showroom of Ray's Sport & Marine shows off some of the latest Lund boats and Misty Harbor pontoons. Michael Johnson/Focus1 / 3
A row of boats awaits the open water season at Ray's Sport & Marine in Perham. Michael Johnson/Focus2 / 3
Ray's Sport & Marine is now open and is planning a grand opening March 8-10 at the new location at 937 Market Street Perham across from Mark's Fleet Supply. Michael Johnson/Focus3 / 3

Fans of boating, fishing, trail riding or popcorn should make plans to head over to the recently opened Ray's Sport and Marine in Perham.

Ray's Sport and Marine opened for business in January and plans a grand opening for the public March 8-10 at the facility located at 937 Market Street in Perham across from Mark's Fleet Supply. The grand opening will bring out experts in fishing electronics, boat pros, a fishing legend, a fish fry and a chance for visitors to win door prizes.

The new facility is owned by the Hernesman group, which owns the Ray's Marine in Grand Rapids. The sale of Hoot's was inked on Dec. 28, 2016, and the new owners took over on Jan. 2, 2017. The Hernseman group bought the business but not the old building, which is located on East Main Street in Perham. A year later, the owners opened a new 13,600 square foot facility stocked with a selection of boats, ATVs, UTVs, pontoons and a staff ready to help.

In addition to its flagship store in Grand Rapids, Ray's Marine also owns dealerships in Moorhead, Bemidji, Duluth and now Perham.

Store manager Matt Carstens, who was with Hoot's Marine for 18 years, said that the store is already seeing more attention thanks to the new location in sight of US Highway 10. They hope the grand opening will let the region see all that they can offer.

"It's just a good fit," Carstens said. "What better spot than the heart of Otter Tail lakes?"

The business sells Lund Boats, Misty Harbor pontoons, Yamaha ATVs, UTVs and snowmobiles and very soon Honda ATVs, UTVs and cycles. Customers can enjoy a coffee and popcorn while they view the products inside and outside the building. The showroom and shop will be filled with products during the grand opening for crowds to take a peek.

Those attending the grand opening will get to hear from boating pros each of the days. You can sign up to take part in hands-on Lowrance electronics classes 3-4:30 p.m. Friday, March 9 and Saturday, March 10. On Saturday, come out and hear from fishing legend Al Lindner. There will be time for a meet and greet as well as a seminar from Lindner at 2 p.m. Saturday also brings the second annual fish fry with fish being served starting at 11 a.m. Door prizes will also be available as part of the opening.

Carstens said he is pleased to be working with a family-oriented company that believes strongly in the products they sell.

"The Hernseman family is very passionate about the sport," Carstens said.

Carstens said many of the faces at Ray's Sport and Marine are the same, with about a dozen employees working there. Carstens said they are one of the largest dealers of Lund Boats, and considering they are within 10 miles of the manufacturing plant, it's a good fit all around.

If you can't get out to visit, Carsten suggests visiting the business website at raysmarineperham.com to see their selection.

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