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Lack of computer chips, parts squeeze the winter sports company of La Crosse

December 29, 2021 6:34 PM

Posted: December 29, 2021 6:34 PM

Updated: December 29, 2021 6:57 PM

LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WKBT) – A global shortage of computer chips has crippled several industries and is now rolling back winter sports in the Coulee region.

“You just can’t get roles in,” said Michael Sackett, manager of Island Outdoors in La Crosse.

At 2Brothers Powersports in Onalaska, snowmobile parts arrive for installation after the snowmobile is delivered to their store.

“Some of these products come without any underlying parts,” said Ben George, general manager of 2Brothers Powersports.

Most of the missing parts relate to computer chips.

“LCD screens are hard to get to,” said George.

But the shortage of equipment has caused the rental industry to surge.

“People who try to buy them and can’t find them will rent them,” said Sackett.

Island Outdoors has seen rental rates spike as the pandemic continues and people want the outdoors.

“Business was higher than ever this year and last,” said Sackett.

And they have already started renting ice fishing equipment.

“We’ve probably rented our Vexilars a good 20-30 times,” said Sackett.

The supply shortage has caused these two companies to change the way they work.

“It didn’t affect us negatively – it just made us do business in a different way,” said George.

For Island Outdoors this meant turning to different manufacturers.

“But we branded a lot of smaller businesses that we brought in some locals,” said Sackett.

2Brothers Powersports says customers have pre-ordered products online, which has helped manufacturers.

“This will allow these manufacturers to make custom orders,” said George.

And Island Outdoors says it is already preparing its orders for Fall 2022.

“I think the name of the game right now is to order as much as you can as -,” said Sackett.

And if you have a problem with equipment that you already have, it is better to contact the manufacturer directly to have it repaired.

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