Thousands of power sports enthusiasts from around the world converged on St. Paul, Minnesota on Saturday to join Polaris in celebrating 50 years of creating industry-leading recreational and utility products. The company hosted "The Way Out Weekend" birthday bash at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. The Polaris faithful were introduced to the company's newest snowmobiles and just-released model-year 2005 all-terrain and utility vehicles, motorcycles, and personal watercraft. Partygoers also had the opportunity to ride ATVs and Ranger utility vehicles around the world's largest demo track, revisit the history of snowmobiling, watch stunt riders tackle awe-inspiring feats and preview Polaris' concept vehicles of the future.
The day was kicked off with a parade featuring more than 550 Victory motorcycles thundering into the fairgrounds. Throughout the day, musical acts entertained guests and onlookers took in the thrill of ATV pulling competitions and mud runs.
"Hosting The Way Out Weekend was a great way for Polaris to celebrate its heritage and thank our customers, the people who made this company a success," said Tom Tiller, president and CEO of Polaris. "We can't think of a better way to celebrate the past 50 years and launch into the next 50 than by highlighting our products and showing our customers a good time."
Since 1954, when co-founders Edgar Hetteen, Allan Hetteen and David Johnson started the company with the development of the snowmobile in Roseau, Minn., Polaris has grown to become one of the world's largest manufacturers of snowmobiles, ATVs, utility vehicles and personal watercraft. The company also manufactures the award-winning line of Victory Motorcycles. Though it began in a shed in a tiny Minnesota town, the company has grown to become a $1.6 billion multi-national company with dealers and distributors in places as diverse as South Africa, Siberia, Brazil, and New Zealand.
"This party was a great way to bring people together to celebrate the riding experience Polaris offers its customers," said Tiller. "With the Polaris brand expanding quickly around the world, it will be exciting to see what Polaris looks like 50 years from now."
Polaris is a leader in the snowmobile industry; one of the largest manufacturers of all terrain vehicles (ATVs) in the world; and a leading manufacturer of personal watercraft. Victory motorcycles was established in 1998, and represents the first all-new American-made motorcycle in nearly 60 years, is rapidly making impressive in-roads into the motorcycle cruiser marketplace.
Polaris also enhances the riding experience with a complete line of Polaris apparel, accessories, and parts.
Ryan Britt performs freestyle jumps on a 2005 Fusion 900 snowmobile during the Polaris 50 year celebration at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Photo by Wayne Davis Photography.