New building now has a new purpose

by Nick Wognum
The new building on Sheridan Street just west of Central Avenue has a new use. Instead of being a book store it will be a boat store for Piragis Northwoods Company.
Elli Piragis and Tom Roller were checking out the progress on the project Wednesday.
“We went back to plan B which was to make it a canoe show room and a retail space also for our canoe accessories,” said Piragis.
“There will be a few boats that will be displayed here but we will have the barn in the back where we store boats,” said Roller. “We’ll have new canoes, kayaks and paddle boards.”
“This will free up space in our outfitting department,” said Piragis.
Roller said canoe sales have skyrocketed since the Covid pandemic started.
“In the last two years business has just exploded. We’ve sold close to 500 boats. We sell our rental fleet so that’s 140 used boats every year. On new boats and that includes canoes, kayaks and stand up paddleboards I would say 300 to 400. These last two years have been unprecedented,” said Roller.
Piragis sells canoes all across the United States.
“We’re almost sold out of all the new boats we can get our hands on in 2022,” said Piragis.
“Right now we can’t hardly get boats. Before we didn’t have the room and had too many boats. Now we have the room and we can’t get boats,” said Roller. “We’ve had to adjust from selling what’s on hand to what’s on order.”
Piragis sells Wenonah and Northstar canoes. Roller said the companies are building them as fast as they can.
Uniquely, Piragis has asked people who happen to be traveling to take a canoe with them to deliver it to a buyer.
“That has evolved where one of our drivers just took 12 over to the East Coast and down to Florida and New Orleans. He’ll come back and pick up 12 more and go to the West Coast,” said Roller.