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Ice Castle Manufacturer Expanding in Pine River

February 28, 2014

Madeline Koch, 651-259-7236

ST. PAUL – American Surplus and Manufacturing, a Montevideo company that specializes in making wheeled ice-fishing houses under the Ice Castle brand, is opening a manufacturing facility that will bring 20 jobs to Pine River.

Company officials said they plan to develop a manufacturing operation on the former site of a Chrysler dealership and will begin production this spring. Pine River, with a population of about 1,000, is located about 30 miles north of Brainerd in north-central Minnesota.

To help American Surplus with the expansion, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) awarded the company a low-interest loan of $107,500 from its Minnesota Investment Fund.

“American Surplus is a successful company that has found a business niche tied to the great Minnesota tradition of ice fishing and other outdoor recreational activities,” said DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben. “We’re pleased to help the company bring more jobs to Minnesota and look forward to watching the business’ continued success.”

American Surplus and Manufacturing specializes in making luxury ice fish houses, similar to RV units, containing such features as kitchens, bathrooms, satellite televisions and other amenities. The units are mounted on wheels and can be pulled from one site to another for use as ice fishing houses, hunting shacks and summer cabins.

The company employs about 90 people at its existing manufacturing facility in Montevideo, using almost exclusively American-made parts, many of them manufactured in Minnesota.  Jeffrey Drexler launched the Montevideo operation in 1993 and will partner with David Handeland on the new facility in Pine River under the name Northern Sales and Manufacturing.

American Surplus bills itself as the largest manufacturer of fish houses on wheels in the world and claims 56 percent of the market share in that category in Minnesota. Among its luxury products is the King’s Castle, an 8-foot by 24-foot model that features a furnace, air conditioner, stereo, kitchen, bunk beds, bay window and eight holes (with lights) for fishing.

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and our services, visit us at Follow us on Twitter at


Upon request, this information can be made available in alternate formats for people with disabilities by contacting the DEED Communications Office at 651-259-7161.