Polaris is expanding its program that allows people to rent ATVs and other vehicles for a weekend or a vacation.
The Polaris Adventures program, started in 2017, allows rentals at certain vacation destinations. It added the Polaris Adventures Select option last year in Arizona, which added a subscription component and vehicle pickup and delivery options.
The Medina-based company announced Monday it would expand Adventures Select to more locations in the Midwest, with participating outfitters in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and South Dakota.
Memberships in the Select program start at $149 a month.
Interest in powersports and the outdoors has surged during the pandemic, and Polaris is hoping to make more people lifelong powersports enthusiasts by offering more flexible ways for them to have different adventures on different vehicles.
The aim of the Adventures Select program is to allow those interested in powersports who might not have the budget, storage space or towing capability for the different vehicles and allows them to try new options.
Under the program, customers accumulate credits that they can exchange for the use of different vehicles at specific locations or use the pickup or delivery option.
Polaris makes recreational vehicles such as all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles and motorcycles, plus pontoon and deck boats. In 2021, the company's annual sales increased 16.7% to $8.2 billion. Earnings increased soared from $124.8 million in 2020 to $493.9 million in 2021.
Polaris did not provide sales numbers for the Polaris Adventures program. In 2021, there were more than 175 Polaris Adventures Outfitters across the country that helped secure 400,000 rides.
"Building on that network of outfitters, we felt it was a natural extension to put a membership around it," said Vic Koelsch, senior vice president, chief digital and information officer for Polaris.
The Select membership model was introduced in Arizona last year and then expanded to Utah, Colorado, and Nevada later in the year.
With the Midwest expansion, there are now 50 outfitters participating in the Adventures Select program. Some are providing access to pontoon boats.
Polaris plans to expand the program's geographic reach even more, Koelsch said.
"We think it could be one of the biggest levers, if not the biggest, to new customer growth, and it'll be profitable," Koelsch said.
The customers in the Adventures program run the gamut. Some own powersports vehicles but want short-term access to different types for larger outings or are on vacation and want to rent some.
While the subscription service model is most prevalent for services such as Netflix or Spotify, many retailers are picking up on it. Carmakers such as Audi, Lexus, Porsche and Volvo have subscription models that gets users access to their portfolio of vehicles without purchase commitments.
For the companies, one advantage is learning more about user habits and preferences.
The customer and vehicle usage data in the Adventures programs are managed by Polaris. By mining that data, Koelsch said the company can add different features to future vehicles and add options to the Adventures programs.