This winter, Clam Outdoors has been busy filling customer orders as per usual, but with restaurants, movie sets and outdoor sporting events feeling the impacts of COVID-19, the leading manufacturer of ice fishing equipment is experiencing demand spikes in a new way.
As the hospitality and entertainment industries reel during these challenging times, Excelsior Brewing Company has partnered with Clam Outdoors to extend patio season in a new and unconventional way. In November, Excelsior winterized its outdoor patio (in true Minnesota fashion), and Clam Outdoors set up six of its X-Series Thermal Hub Shelters at the brewery, located near Lake Minnetonka. Because these shelters are big enough to fit multiple people, are lightweight and can be packed down, they are ideal in keeping the brewery busy while also enforcing social distancing protocol.
To ensure cleanliness, each shelter gets its air exchanged and is disinfected between reservations. “Clam is such a natural fit for our lake activity themed brewery, and they have been super to work with,” says Excelsior Brewing Company CEO Patrick Foss. “Winter in Minnesota is no problem for the Minnesota spirit and even better with a fresh Excelsior craft brew in a Clam.”
So, what makes Clam’s shelters so desirable? They’re accommodating outdoor dining during the COVID-19 pandemic and winter months in areas desperate to maintain some type of social norm. It’s the denier (fabric thickness) and thermal fabric, introduced in 2007, that works to trap cool or hot air inside the shelter. Clam’s X-Series lineup is now the most sought-after ice shelter off and on the ice because of how it’s versatility. These are heavy duty shelters designed for harsh conditions, and now, they also provide comfortable ways to enjoy a nice meal isolated from others.
For those who thought Clam’s shelters were only meant to be used when Minnesota’s 10 thousand lakes have frozen, you’re wrong. Behold, the new way to participate in social activities without being bothered! “There have been a lot of different uses for our hub shelters beyond ice fishing. Over the years, there are quite a few people that will use hub ice houses as sleeping shacks during hunting trips, or have been used as warming houses at ice rinks or sporting fields during cold practices or games,” says Addy Hanson, Marketing Coordinator for Clam Outdoors. “One of the most unique situations that I have heard people using hub shelters for is on movie sets in hot climates as air-conditioned tents. The thermal fabric helps keep cool air inside the tent, so production crews will use them to keep staff cool. As you can see, there are a lot of uses for these shelters beyond ice fishing, and we are excited to see how these shelters can be used on and off the frozen lakes!”
These shelters were a hit at last year’s Hardwater Ice Fishing Expo. In a time where we could walk through each shelter, sit down and experience what it might be like to be together enjoying activities like fishing. The expo will be back next year. The X-Series Hubs will also be there next year, but for now go out and support this local company that’s using ice shelters as a way to stay open during difficult times.