With the summer grilling season well under way, Outdoor Living & Spas is making the most of its expanded location to offer a wide variety of outdoor items to make life in the backyard a little more pleasant.
Gary Wendschlag, general manager, said the company has been around for about five years and finally got a much-needed building expansion last year, right around the time he started working there. They had sold some outdoor items like firepits and spas out of the old Overhead Door building, but when Overhead Door expanded, it gave Outdoor Living & Spas much more room to carry a wider selection of merchandise.
"I added the furniture, the outdoor kitchens, the Big Green Eggs," Wendschlag said.
As the name suggests, Outdoor Living & Spas does indeed carry a large line of spas. It carries the Hot Spring brand, which has three lines - the high-end Highlife line; Limelight, which is a contemporary line featuring multicolored lighting aimed at a younger generation; and the economical Hot Spot line.
"Hot Spring has three different lines, just like General Motors," Wendschlag said. "They've got a Cadillac, Pontiac and a Chevrolet."
He also noted they do spa service and will deliver.
The outdoor furniture includes umbrellas, chairs and tables from such brands as Hanamint Furniture and Tropitone Furniture. Wendschlag said Hanamint and Tropitone use Sunbrella fabric, which has a five-year no-fade warranty. Wendschlag said Sunbrella uses a radish and carrot analogy to explain why their fabric doesn't fade like other fabrics.
"A carrot is solid orange all the way through. A radish is red on the outside and white on the inside," Wendschlag said. "Their threads and their yarns are like a carrot - they're dyed all the way through so they're solid colored, not just on the outside. That's why they hold their color."
Wendschlag said a mixture of one gallon of water and a cup of bleach can even be used to clean the fabric and the color won't fade. He noted the umbrellas are made of the same fabric.
The furniture also comes in four styles that have increasing amounts of padding- vinyl strap, fabric sling, padded sling and deep seated cushion.
Complementing the furniture are outdoor kitchens, fireplaces and firepits. Wendschlag said the outdoor kitchens come in modules so a customer can create any size and shape they want.
"The one thing nice about these outdoor kitchens here versus a stainless steel outdoor kitchen is these are easy, low maintenance," Wendschlag said. "You're not out there polishing stainless steel in this kind of weather where you have the dew and the dust. You're polishing that stuff constantly."
The grill lines include Napoleon gas grills and Big Green Egg natural hardwood lump charcoal grills. Wendschlag said the lump charcoal Big Green Egg uses gives food a distinctly better flavor than the pressed briquettes used in regular charcoal grills, making it a very popular grill with his customers. He also said the lump charcoal ignites and heats to cooking temperature in just minutes, making it easier to use than regular charcoal. He noted Big Green Eggs are used at the NDSU BBQ Boot Camps.
Along with grilling meats, there are also accessories that turn the grill into a convection oven, making it able to cook pizza and even whole chicken or turkey without any fear of burning.
Wendschlag said business has been very good since the move to the bigger building allowed them to carry more items like the outdoor furniture and kitchens, although he said they are already running out of space. He said his customers tend to want a higher-end product than what is found in other area stores, and that is exactly what he tries to carry.
"Our products are for the people who can afford to or choose to go out and buy a Cadillac Escalade, buy a $500,000 house and you have $100,000 in the backyard with the lawn and the full-grown trees that you had put in and the deck and everything," Wendschlag said. "You're not going to buy a $500 six-piece patio set."
He said many people grow tired of buying something that breaks or wears out quickly. For them, Outdoor Living & Spas has just what they've been looking for.
"You want something that's quality and something that lasts a long time," Wendschlag said. "That's kind of what our deal is."