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Remodeled Mad Dogz hopes to reach community

Mad Dogz owner Mike McKay hopes neighboring business will bring customers


A local business that serves a niche population is looking to expand its customer base.

Mike McKay and his wife Kathy own two hobby shops: Mad Dogz Hobby in Sandy and Remote Control Hobbies in Portland.

McKay bought the already established Sandy store in May of 2012. He said he was looking for a change in career. McKay’s business partner knew the previous owner and pitched the idea of buying it. “We kicked it around for a while and took the plunge,” McKay said.

Although he had never owned a hobby shop before, McKay was no stranger to the product. McKay is involved in Portland Sky Knights, a radio control flying club with a flying field in Boring. McKay said the club has nearly 85 members.

McKay flew hobby planes as a kid, but stopped as he grew older. In 2008, he was driving by the flying field on Orient Drive and saw planes in the air, he said. He decided to check it out.

One pilot had a plane up in the air when he asked McKay if he had ever flown before. McKay said that when he answered no, the pilot just handed him the air radio, plane still in the air.

“Ever since then it’s gone downhill,” McKay said. He’s even got his grandson involved.

Since he bought Mad Dogz, McKay has been expanding the inventory and the business. In addition to carrying remote control planes, Mad Dogz stocks cars, copters, rockets, boats and parts.

“We try not to sell anything we don’t have the parts for,” McKay said. He said the business makes most of its money in dealing spare parts. by: SANDY POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - The hobby shop carries RC planes, cars, copters, boats and the parts to fix them.

The shop also carries disc golf supplies, which McKay said is a major seller, and recently started carrying stuff for plastic models as well.

Just before February, McKay was able to buy a neighboring space and expand the square footage of his business. The remodel began Feb. 1.

Knocking down walls and removing an unneeded bathroom increased the floor space in Mad Dogz by 300 square feet, McKay said. With the change, the store was able to add a lot more product.

With the exception of some paint, the remodel at Mad Dogz is nearly completed.

Unfortunately, McKay said he has seen a leveling off in business over the past year. Although his business has a limited market, he hopes to reach out more to the community and continue to bring in folks who might need a hobby.

“I’ve got to figure out how to get it marketed,” McKay said. “With the economy the way it is, people don’t have the disposable income to purchase a hobby.”

One thing that McKay hopes will pull in more customers is the opening of a neighboring business.

A rock-crawling track is in the works to open behind Mad Dogz.

The track will allow owners of remote vehicles that can crawl over rocks and trails to rent time on the track. Some customers can even rent trucks to use on the track.

Eventually Crawlers, the new business, hopes to put in a barbecue restaurant as well.

In addition, the space would be home to a slot car track, one more source of advertisement for some of the Mad Dogz products.

“I hope he can get her going,” McKay said. “It would be a great addition to this."

What: Mad Dogz Hobby, 38250 Pioneer Blvd.

503-482-0340

When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday.

Come in to check out for sale RC planes, helicopters, quad copters, cars, trucks, boats and parts as well as disc golf supplies, and plastic models.

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