Mark Svir is one savvy Rim businessman, and he can prove it.
A mere two years after he kick-started 4 Seasons Motorsports on Highway 260 in Star Valley, Svir's company became the recipient of the 2001 Master Service Dealer award from Polaris ATVs a coveted prize presented to only one dealership in the whole of the American Southwest based on professionalism, product knowledge and customer satisfaction ratings.
In the meantime, 4 Seasons Motorsports earned the ranking of the 12th largest-volume ATV dealership in the world and No. 3 in the southwest where Svir's competition includes all of Arizona, Nevada and Southern California, home of the largest ATV dealerships anywhere.
Flush with that kind of success, Svir's next step was a natural. Last month, he moved his fast-growing business from Star Valley to ... Rye?
"Yes, Rye," Svir said with a weary laugh, as if he's heard every single joke ever told at the expense of the tiny community 11 miles south of Payson.
"I've had people tell me I'm crazy, that there's nothing here in Rye, that I'm taking a really big chance," Svir said. "But it wasn't just a knee-jerk reaction to move down here. Just like the Town of Payson, I have a strategic plan, and I've had it documented for a couple of years. Everything has been well thought out and researched."
For one thing, he said, "The potential for Rye is untapped, and I expect to see some real transformation in the next eight to 24 months. Every business down here has its own plans and ideas, and there's a lot of new money coming in. In the short time I've been here, I've talked to several people who are looking at this area for various types of businesses."
There were specific benefits, too, for a growing motorsports business.
"First, there wasn't any land to buy along the highway in Star Valley," he said. "But after giving it more thought than that, Rye is closer to the Valley, where about 70 percent of our business comes from.
"Also, with three-and-a-half acres and what will be 10,000 square feet under roof, we have a lot more storage space not only for new product, but for our customers who like to leave their trailers when they bring in their ATVs for service. I couldn't accommodate them before."
Within the confines of his old Star Valley facility, Svir and his eight employees couldn't accommodate much expansion, either.
Svir's 4 Seasons Motorsports has always sold and serviced Polaris and Yamaha ATVs, along with Yamaha motorcycles, trailers for ATVs and other uses, and a full line of parts and accessories. And it has always offered free pickup and delivery to an area defined by Svir as "Phoenix, Heber, wherever."
But now, in its roomier digs on the west side of the Beeline Highway opposite the Rye Creek Bar and Grill, Bombardier ATVs and Sea-Do watercraft will be added to the showroom display. And that's not all.
"Everything is predicated on space and location, and I have both of those now," Svir said. "For example, we couldn't sell the Sea-Do brand until now because I didn't have the space to carry it, and we were pretty far from Roosevelt Lake. But now that we're closer to the lake and have the space, it's opened up a whole new market.
"We're also expanding the trailer line, to carry more trailers and a greater variety of them," he said. "We're even talking about possibly doing service and repair on boat motors and small engines. This move has opened up a whole lot of new doors."
Of course, the last word on Svir's move will belong to his customers.
"It's still pretty early to tell, but so far we've been getting a very good response," Svir said. "In addition to their happiness over the shorter drive from the Valley, they say that the facility looks nice, and that it's not nearly as dusty and dirty as it was at the other location, which had a gravel parking lot."
The response will become even more enthusiastic, Svir predicted, when he succeeds in creating more drive-by visibility for 4 Season Motorsports.
"We're working on a large, lighted sign and some more outside displays, and I have a permit with ADOT to cut the grass along the highway. That will make our location more presentable."
But those are tiny details in the big picture of Svir's strategic plan.
"We're really focused on the customer, and we've done a lot of things that people said couldn't be done," he said. "But we've done it, we've been quite successful with it, and it's helped us create a really solid base of repeat clientele."
For more information on 4 Seasons Motorsports, call 474-3411 or visit the website www.4-seasons-motorsports.com.