Newly opened Outdoor Extreme brings personalized outdoor sports sales to Presque Isle

4 years ago

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — In a climate and terrain that lend themselves to outdoor sports, one Ashland couple saw the perfect opportunity to open the kind of outdoor sports store they wished they could frequent. 

Kirstina and Clyde Hafford are the husband-and-wife co-owners of Outdoor Extreme, an outdoor sports store that opened at 55 State Road in Presque Isle on Jan. 1. It is no coincidence that the Haffords are outdoor sports devotees who especially love snowmobiling. Now, they are trying to turn their longtime interest into a successful business. 

The couple, who also own a construction company, said they decided to branch out into sporting goods after seeing an opportunity in the Presque Isle market. By offering brands local stores didn’t stock, they could differentiate themselves to outdoor sports enthusiasts. 

It was on a whim, really,” Kirstina Hafford said. “We just wanted to bring some inventory to the customers around here. Bring something around that nobody else has.” 

While there are other sporting goods stores in Presque Isle, Clyde Hafford said Outdoor Extreme is the only location in Presque Isle stocking many of the brands they carry, including Castle and FLY Racing products. 

Outdoor Extreme currently provides seemingly anything you would ever need for outdoor winter sports: helmets, jackets, snow pants, gloves, snowmobile parts and ski masks.

But, their inventory will change with the season. Come summertime, there will be equipment for motorbikes, sports bikes and ATVs. 

While Clyde Hafford said the couple’s specialized merchandise distinguished their store, he said they were not trying to be in harsh competition with local suppliers. For parts or equipment they don’t have, they plan on working with local shops to make sure customers get what they need. 

It isn’t always easy to spread awareness about a new business, but the couple is taking active measures to make sure the community knows about them. They are utilizing a variety of old and new techniques: While Kirstina put flyers up at a local hotel, she also made a Facebook page and added their location to Google Maps.

They said these techniques have been successful so far, creating word-of-mouth results that has already expanded the clientele of their new business.

The couple said they want to use their longtime interest in outdoor sports to offer customers personable service. Additionally, they want to help customers get everything they need — not everything they can afford.  

I’m not going to push them to spend all kinds of money,” Clyde Hafford said.

In an era of increased e-commerce, Kirstina Hafford said they want those from Presque Isle and beyond to get a personalized and comfortable experience in their store. 

“I like to bring products to customers. That’s my biggest thing,” Kirstina Hafford said. “So they can see it, feel it, try it on. See how it fits.” 

The couple said they planned on expanding their brand-name offerings as their shop continued to attract new customers. 

“We have four seasons, so we want to utilize those four seasons the best we can,” Kirstina Hafford said. “There’s a lot of people who love outdoor sports.”