Ken's Sports, Inc. was established in 1968 by Ken Vander Loop and his wife, Mary, in what was then a Standard Oil Service Station on the corner of "OO and "N" in Little Chute. The sport of snowmobiling was just coming into its prime and the couple decided to supplement the service station business by selling snowmobiles. Ken's first venture was the Skiroule brand and shortly thereafter Rupp was added. In 1972, the Arctic Cat franchise became available when Stumpf Ford decided to sell out that portion of their business. And, in 1982 the Polaris snowmobile line was also added. In the early 1970's, there were approximately 150 manufacturers trying to get in on the ground floor of the snowmobile industry. Today, after 45 years, only four brands remain, including the Arctic Cat and Polaris lines.
In 1975, a Marine Division was added which currently encompasses Mercury, Evinrude, and Honda outboard motors and Crestliner, Mirro-Craft, Sunchaser, Cypress Cay, Triton and Bayliner boats and pontoons. In 1976, Suzuki Motorcycles appeared on the showroom floor. By 1989, Kawasaki Motorcycles, ATV's and Jet Ski's were introduced and in 1999 Victory Motorcycles were added to round out the product lines that are currently carried. The advent of the internet opened up a completely new approach to retailing, with major units as well as parts, clothing and accessories shipped daily worldwide.
During this time, Ken and Mary started their family which includes four sons, Scott, Mike, Chris and Jay and one daughter, Gretchen. All of the children helped out as youngsters, either sweeping floors, running errands, filing, washing windows, cutting lawn, shoveling snow and all the other odd jobs that help to build a good work ethic.
By 1999, the business had outgrown its "OO" location and a new facility was built on Highway "JJ", just off of County Road "N", about a mile out of Little Chute. Today, three of the their sons, Scott, Chris, and Jay have taken over the reins of the business. While Ken is still on-site, he enjoys restoring tractors and occassionally purchasing and restoring an old snowmobile that he originally sold back in the early 1970's. Mary is also still active in the business while showing third generation grandson, Dan Vander Loop, what's involved in running the office. Scott's wife and Dan's Mom, Karen, rounds out the team by heading up the Clothing Department. In addition to family members, the business has grown from one employee in 1968 to a current force of 38.
As we celebrate our 45th year, we would like to thank everyone who has helped us achieve the enviable status of "Wisconsin's Largest Powersports Dealer!"