Feature 504: Thunderstik Lodge and Gage Outdoor Expeditions, Chamberlain, SD

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After returning from a family reunion in the Black Hills of South Dakota, John Kalan knew he wanted a little piece of the prairie for his family. John has always had a love for the outdoors and hunting. He just happened to stumble upon the opportunity to purchase Thunderstik Lodge and Gage Outdoor Expeditions near Chamberlain, South Dakota.

Thunderstik is a hunting preserve/guide service which primarily sells all-inclusive high-end hunting packages. It also has more affordable packages and is used as a special events venue. Gage Outdoor Expeditions is the marketing/booking arm of the business. They provide the booking services for Thunderstik and other expedition providers throughout North America.

John Kalan, from Ham Lake, Minnesota, fulfilled his dream of owning an outdoors based business by purchasing Thunderstik with the help of the SBA 504 program through First District Development Company and financing through First National Bank in Pierre. Commercial Loan Officer, Ron Wagner gave this perspective, “Utilizing SBA 504 is a great benefit to both the lender and borrower—the lender secures a first mortgage position at 50% of collateral value and the borrower benefits from a 20 year fixed rate.  In regards to First District, they were very helpful guiding us through the SBA 504 process and the settlement with this complex transaction.”

Thunderstik Lodge and Gage Outdoor Expeditions are collectively a premier pheasant hunting, fishing, guiding, outdoor adventure and marketing operation. Located just three miles off of Interstate 90, near Chamberlain, South Dakota, Thunderstik Lodge is known for its attention to detail, luxury accommodations, superb dining and high quality guided hunting and fishing. It is also a licensed game preserve. Client repeat rate for Thunderstik Lodge is over 70%. With an outstanding location near the Missouri River, the facility is used for events, weddings, and banquets, in addition to their popular guided fishing and pheasant hunts. Dogs are essential to a good hunt and Thunderstik has approximately 25 world class hunting dogs available, while hunters are also welcome to bring their own dogs.

New owner, John Kalan, is excited about his new business venture. John expressed, “One of the most exciting things about this business is the opportunity to be involved in a place where people can connect to the outdoors and unplug from today’s technology. It is really something to watch people partake in an age old tradition of hunting and spending time with friends and family in today’s world.”

Congratulations John—FDDC wishes you continued success at Thunderstik and Gage Outdoor Expeditions!

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