Sunday, June 24, 2018
Business

Used car dealer also has big selection of off-road vehicles

BROOKSVILLE — Steve and Heather Craig call their products "unique vehicles."

The grinning, enthusiastic people who pull into the lot at Halo Autosports, on the other hand, are likely to call them "fun", or maybe even "wild."

Dirt bikes, buggies, all-terrain vehicles and utility vehicles are the specialty of Halo at the former Suzuki dealership at 15265 Cortez Blvd. The Craigs bought the property and moved their business there earlier this month from downtown St. Petersburg.

"The Brooksville location, geographically, is ideal for these types of products," said Steve Craig, 42, who oversees the service and sales departments.

"A lot of people seem to have a lot of land in this area and they like to go dirt biking."

Even among the unusual vehicles on the Halo lot, the Oreion Reeper stands out. It's a street-legal, side-by-side, two-passenger run-about.

"Most vehicles in this market are not street-legal," Craig said. "With the Reeper, if you want to go off-roading, you can go off-roading; if you want to go to Starbucks, you can go to Starbucks."

The two-passenger JMC Remli is in the same category, he said.

Who buys sports vehicles?

"Outdoorsy people who like adventure (and) who like toys, such as dirt bikes or four-wheelers," Craig replied. "There are other people who purchase them just because they are a unique vehicle. Some people use them for daily transportation, some for definitely off-roading."

The dealership's prices range from $700 for small a dirt bike to $16,000 for a street-legal side-by-side.

The street-legal buggy requires licenses for both the vehicle and the driver. A couple of scooter models, along with dirt bikes powered by engines of 50 cubic centimeters or larger, require motorcycle or standard driver licenses. Street-legal vehicles are equipped with seat belts.

While sport vehicles set the local dealership apart, they account for just 30 percent of the firm's business.

The bulk comes from sales of cars, pickup trucks and vans. But don't count on ho-hum here, either. On the lot last week was an 2002 Jaguar S-Type and a '94 Corvette.

Halo acquires its pre-owned inventory from other dealerships, private owners, auctions and trade-ins.

The dealership offers vehicle histories and financing.

Its service department is available for auto repairs of all makes and models.

At its site in St. Petersburg, which covered a half-acre, "we were geographically limited to our growth," Craig said. "So this building, 13,500 square feet on 7 acres, allows us to expand our business.

"One of the things that really attracted us to Brooksville and Hernando County is the growth and businesses you see being added."

Heather Craig, 30, serves as general manager, overseeing day-to-day operations. The firm also has five other workers.

Both Craigs have experience in real estate and Steve Craig has worked at car dealerships.

"He's always had a passion for cars, starting with building dealerships of Legos," said Heather Craig. "I am the orchestrator of his dreams."

Beth Gray can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Office building demolition at Midtown Tampa site proves tougher than expected

Office building demolition at Midtown Tampa site proves tougher than expected

TAMPA ó Stripped to the girders, the old Bromley office building looked about as substantial as fish bones on a dinner plate.But the 5-story structure proved Sunday it still had a surprising amount of fight left in it.A demolition team had planned to...
Updated: 7 hours ago
President Trumpís trade war threatens the US newspaper industry

President Trumpís trade war threatens the US newspaper industry

STERLING, Ill. - As a longtime editor of small-town newspapers, Jeff Rogers has seen his industry face the collapse of print advertising, the rise of the internet and more. Today, his 18 employees work in a newsroom here that puts out two daily newsp...
Published: 06/24/18
Making the case for more drones

Making the case for more drones

BLACKSBURG, Va. - They considered how well everyone slept the night before. They considered the chances a military jet might scream by on a training mission. They considered the farmer in the field.Then they considered some more.After making it throu...
Published: 06/24/18
Tampa Bay workforce development initiative looks to Houston for lessons

Tampa Bay workforce development initiative looks to Houston for lessons

The biggest hospitals in Houston had a problem.To earn a prized institutional certification, they needed more nurses with bachelor of science degrees in nursing.But local colleges were more focused on turning out nurses with two-year degrees who, to ...
Published: 06/22/18
Health care IT company CareSync shuts down, laying off 292

Health care IT company CareSync shuts down, laying off 292

TAMPA ó The days ahead were supposed to be bright.For weeks, the future of health care tech company CareSync had been thrown into question as founder and CEO and founder Travis Bond unexpectedly departed, kicking off multiple rounds of layoffs. But t...
Published: 06/22/18
Coal and gas hold onto their share of electricity production, despite massive push for renewables

Coal and gas hold onto their share of electricity production, despite massive push for renewables

Hereís an intriguing set of facts: Coal produces the same percentage of the worldís electricity as 20 years ago. Oil and gas remain about level, too.Same for nonfossil fuel sources. In other words, the massive push towards renewables over the past co...
Published: 06/22/18
Brink: Why have Floridaís working-age men left the labor market in droves

Brink: Why have Floridaís working-age men left the labor market in droves

A cancer lurks within Floridaís otherwise rosy job numbers, one thatís been called a quiet catastrophe and an intractable time bomb.Too many men between the ages of 25 and 54 have stopped working.Economists call those the prime-age years. Incomes gen...
Published: 06/22/18
Pride divided no more: St. Pete Pride comes back together

Pride divided no more: St. Pete Pride comes back together

ST. PETERSBURG — The 16th annual St. Pete Pride Parade is getting ready to march along the downtown waterfront the second straight year. But many hope to move past the division caused last year when the parade was uprooted from its original hom...
Published: 06/22/18
For sale: A Tampa Bay area elementary school where you can eat tacos and buy wine

For sale: A Tampa Bay area elementary school where you can eat tacos and buy wine

ST. PETERSBURG ó For sale: a 104-year-old elementary school with restaurant and wine shop. It even has a title company where you can close the deal.Less than a year after completing a major renovation of the historic North Ward school, developer Jona...
Published: 06/22/18
Domain Homes: Buyers love them, some others donít

Domain Homes: Buyers love them, some others donít

TAMPA ó When the 2008 financial crash brought down the nationís housing market, hundreds of home builders went out of business. Among them was Sharon McSwain Homes in Atlanta, forced to liquidate in 2009.But just as developers like to develop, builde...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18