Dalton Mountain was actually founded as Dalton Mountain Motors (a used car dealer) on April 1, 1988 by Dean E. Walts, Jr. (that's me) and my dog Keon in an old horse barn in rural Dalton NH . (Population 411). I am an ASE certified technician and initially did all of my own repairs, reconditioning, office work, and purchasing of vehicles. Keon ate, slept, snuck across the road, and chased an occasional car. Several auto dealers in the area had gone out of business just prior to the start up of Dalton Mountain Motors, making the banks, which had just lost millions of dollars on auto dealers, reluctant to lend to a start up dealer. The only money available was in the form of a single credit card with a $4000.00 limit at 21% interest. As my dad would say "Nothing to hold you back except fear and common sense". Fortunately, Keon and I didn't have much of either so Dalton Mountain Motors was born. We started out with a whopping vehicle sales average of "two" vehicles a month. After two years and about 90 actual hours of work a week that average increased to about 12 sales a month. Keon seemed to be handling the hours ok but I was getting a little tired. I realized that I had three choices for the business; quit, get smaller, or get larger and move the business. The first two were not realistic options.
On April 1, 1990 I incorporated as "Walts Development Corporation" and moved the business to the county seat, nearby Lancaster, N. H., (our current site). The property purchased was known as the old Boydston Ford Tractor Garage. It came complete with old paint cans, oil barrels and a manure spreader. I had to buy the building in the spring of the year allowing me time to stuff insulation all Summer, so the building would hold heat for the winter. The roof leaked intermittently from patch to patch for two years because we could not afford a new one. Oh, there was an upside, did I forget to mention that this location, which is on a multi intersection, and has one of the highest drive buy traffic counts in this corner of the state? Location, Location, Location!!!
The dealership kept getting stronger and in April of 1994 Dalton Mountain Motors became a franchised dealer, by securing a GMC truck franchise, and changing its name to Dalton Mountain GMC.
In 1995, our first full year with GMC, we were pleasantly surprised when we were notified by General Motors that we had won their "Rewards of Leadership Award" and were ranked the number one small GMC store in the nation. This award was based on number of retail sales and customer satisfaction.
As time has passed, we now own 12 ½ acres of land on both sides of that intersection. We Built an awesome 12,000 square foot cedar sided building. We have acquired 14 more lines including Suzuki Motorcycles, Suzuki ATV's, Suzuki Outboards, Bombardier ATV's, Ski- doo snowmobiles, Sea-doo personal water craft, Sea-doo Sport boats, Johnson/Evenrude outboards, Crestliner Boats, Stingray Boats, Destiny Powered Parachutes and three trailer lines. All of these together now making up our second dealership Dalton Mountain Motor Sports.
Our first full year with Dalton Mountain Motor Sports was something of a dream. We were named New Hampshire Snowmobile Association (NHSA) "Dealer of the Year". This award is open to all dealers of any make or manufacture in the state. Dalton Mountain was also recognized as the top ATV dealer in New England for Bombardier ATV. Lastly, but certainly not least, Dalton Mountain was awarded Suzuki's Top award, "National Merchandiser of the Year" our first year out. In the words of Suzuki Motor Corporation, "this is like winning the Indy 500 the first time you drove a car".
We are currently in our third year and have won NHSA "Dealer of the Year" three out of three year and are now the largest Bombardier Recreational Products Dealer in the Northeast. We have installed a test track complete with moguls, a deep ravine and table top jumps and plan, once we have the proper permits, to installing a 22 foot waterfall and fountain with man made brook on the North side of the building.
Ad to this the fact that we are in the process of completing our plans for an Event Center/Race Track for Moto-Cross, Snow-Cross, ATV racing, hill climbs, mud runs, hare scrambles, cart racing, street bike racing, and high bank oval snowmobile ice racing. The track will have full heated grandstands, skyboxes, campground and full line restaurant with plans of an adjacent private air strip and full passenger rail service in the works. The area will double as an outdoor Event Center for concerts complete with stage, concessions, restrooms, snowmobile/ATV trails, snowshoe/cross country ski trails and parking for 20,000 people. This facility will be one of a kind!
The dealership now employees over 30 people with plans to add approximately 70 more when our Event Center opens. We have been open 7 days a week since 1997 in all areas, parts, sales, and service. We have an in-house warranty that is second to none and pride ourselves on customer service.
My best friend and buddy Keon died on August 25th, 2001 ; he was 15 years old. I was lucky enough to be with him when he passed away. He taught me that some things never die - friendship, loyalty, trust. Dalton Mountain was founded, nurtured, and has thrived based on these principles.
It is this way today and it shall forever be.