Story by Troy A Buzalsky

Photos provided by AMDS

The year 2020 will go down as a year of infamy. It’s not hard to look back and remember how the coronavirus appeared. Our whole country quickly understood what a pandemic was, and how something as simple as a mask was either a lifesaving tool, or a politically divisive prop. Hope in 2021 comes in the announcement that AME joins AMDS.

The trip around the sun will also be remembered as a year where fish runs struggled and where guides, charters, and lodges were crippled due to the restrictions and fallout from the pandemic. Add to the list the fact that boat builders were literally shut down and deemed non-essential, but reopened to an enthusiastic, outdoor-adventure crowd who placed more demand for the products than boat builders could provide. Boat sales are still booming, both new and used, as more people have reprioritized their lives and found the value in outdoor recreation and activities, which of course includes boating and fishing.

If you’re like me, you wanted 2020 to be in your rearview mirror and you couldn’t wait for the ball to drop in Times Square bringing in the New Year, hopefully having more answers than questions about the future, and more hope than frustration as this year’s fishing and boating season unveils its endless opportunities.

The New Year often brings in short-lived New Year’s resolutions, but in some cases, it also spearheads new beginnings. After serving Alaska for 44 years, Alaska Mining & Diving Supply (AMDS) released a “Big Announcement” on New Year’s Eve 2020. They would be acquiring Anchorage Suzuki Arctic Cat and partnering together to better serve its customers now and in the future, while creating the ultimate platform for customer service and satisfaction.

With this announcement they unveiled Alaska Motorsports & Equipment (AME), a true dynamic duo working in concert with AMDS. This partnership allows AME and AMDS to combine their collective 92 years of experience serving Alaskans with its dedicated staff of employee owners. Most importantly, they will continue to provide the best service possible to the company’s customers, which includes the regions of Anchorage, Chugiak, Eagle River, Fairbanks, Homer, Juneau, Kenai, Nome, Palmer, Soldotna, Valdez, and Wasilla, just to name a few.


World-class service is what you can expect with both AMDS and AME, who have been doing business collectively for 92 years.

Remodeling and infrastructure are just a few of the obvious elements that took place with this Alaska-sized announcement. AME will remain in the prior location of Anchorage Suzuki and Arctic Cat, literally blocks from AMDS in Anchorage. You will see the same friendly faces and chances are you will see new faces as they grow their team and expand their dreams. “To some degree it will be Arctic Cat under one roof and Ski-Doo and Sea-Doo under the other,” explained Nick Olzenak (AKA Nick O.), Vice President and General Manager of AMDS. “These two, separate dealerships are committed to providing the highest level of customer service we know how to provide,” shares Olzenak.


As the names Alaska Mining & Diving Supply and Alaska Motorsport & Equipment might suggest, there is quite an umbrella of products and services available within this newly formed partnership, and its scope and product line is steadily growing. Snow machines, side-by-sides, ATV’s, motorcycles, generators, snowplows, mining and diving equipment, chainsaws, and mowers shape their lineup of available power equipment. For the boating enthusiast, add to the list off-shore and near-shore boats, river boats, lake boats, and a full selection of outboard power plants.

World-class name brands include Arctic Cat, Ski-Doo, Sea-Doo, Can-Am, Suzuki, Honda, Yamaha, Husqvarna, STACYC, Lowe, Sea Sport, C-Dory, and KingFisher. Building on the concept of motorsports, they also feature the Mahindra brand of tractors and utility vehicles (UTV’s), including the ROXOR, its military-grade, off-road workhorse.

And—and I need to emphasize “and”—AME has just become an exclusive Alaskan dealer for Vanderhall Motor Works. If you have not heard of Vanderhall you need to check these out! Vanderhall is an American-made vehicle manufacturer based out of Provo, Utah, that manufactures handmade, three-wheeled autocycles designed for sport driving, touring, commuting, and city driving. These are no ordinary three-wheel machines; they utilize front-wheel-drive technology and are the coolest looking rides on the road…Guaranteed!


Pictured, the Vanderhall Carmel. Becoming an exclusive dealer for the Vanderhall line of autocycles was just one of the natural progressions growing under the AMDS and AME umbrella. Standby for the release of the 2022 Vanderhall Navarro and watch it revolutionize the adventure-vehicle industry.

Vanderhall is soon to release their Navarro model: a four-wheel, off-road, all-electric four-seater that showcases an amazing 300 horsepower, 500 pounds of torque, and 200-plus-mile range. Add to the list a heated and air-conditioned cabin, and the Navarro is sure to take Alaska by storm. I would love to be the first person to take a trip into Kodiak’s Saltery Cove in one of these all-electric works of art.

Benefits abound from the acquisition that led to the “Big Announcement,” and one of the realized paybacks is allowing AMDS the ability to categorically focus on their marine division. This translates to more boats, a greater selection of boats, increased outboard-motor selection, and a comprehensive inventory of parts and accessories. Collectively, they have also enhanced their service capabilities by adding more certified-and-qualified technicians to their team…all designed to keep you and your fleet afloat. Fun fact: AMDS and AME have more service technicians than any other marine service center in Alaska.

With spring fever staring us in the face, no doubt fishing, boating, and outdoor adventures are tunneling your vision as you salivate on the upcoming season. This is also the time of the year that you again analyze your boating wants and needs, which might include a new boat, or upgrading your perfectly nice, tried-and-true vessel with a new, state-of-the-art powerplant.

With boat inventory at a near all-time low, now might just be the time that you consider repowering the boat you already know and love. Recent advancements in outboard technologies have provided game-changing benefits. Today’s outboard motors are sophistically engineered to provide better fuel efficiency, quieter operation, and to be more environmentally friendly than ever. They also require less maintenance, and most importantly, they are faithfully reliable. These benefits allow you and your family, or you and your fishing buddies, to enjoy that favorite on-the-water experience with the ability to go farther and to be safer. Today, repowering is more popular than ever, for a good reason!


The C-Dory TomCat is a great Alaskan vessel, offering an unparalleled ride and excellent versatility. When coupled with twin 175 HP Suzuki outboards, you can go farther more safely, allowing you to enjoy a part of Alaska to which few can journey.

AMDS offers repower configurations with both Suzuki and Honda mid-range and large-power options. Honda’s power selections range up to 250 HP which includes their flagship BF250 that features BLAST technology, IST shift and throttle, and Lean Burn Control. The Suzuki lineup includes power ratings up to the popular 350 HP V6 DF350A, which has caused waves throughout the outboard industry and is considered the ultimate four-stroke outboard by many. It’s fair to say, you can’t go wrong with the reliability of Honda or Suzuki outboards, the obvious choices for Alaska mariners.

Getting out on the water and enjoying open spaces, fresh air and good fishing are part of the joys of owning a boat.

AMDS and AME have grown their business model which includes expanding their service departments with more tools and equipment than ever before, including larger and more-specific lifts to help get the job done right. They’ve also added to their talented cadre of service technicians at both locations. These enhancements are specifically designed to shorten shop time and wait time, keeping you running and on the water when it matters most. AMDS has seen its business grow over 25% in the last year, which can be attributed to society’s reprioritization towards the outdoor-adventure marketplace. This last year has no doubt made us all reconsider what the term essential business really means; a hidden pandemic pearl.

Service with a smile has always been a cornerstone within the business models of both AMDS and AME, and as things shake out, it will only get better (if that’s possible). Together, they will still offer authorized warranty work, general repairs, break-in services, winterization, preseason inspections and even shrink-wrapping. If they sell it, they service it, and if they don’t sell it, they can likely fix it, or source parts…even those hard-to-find parts.


When it comes to buying that new boat or repowering your current boat, sometimes you have an existing boat or outboard that you need to sell. Consider AMDS and AME a one-stop shop with their unique-in-the-industry trade-in program, making the buying process seamless. To further streamline the process of purchasing or repowering your existing boat, visit their on-site finance and insurance manager.

The C-Dory TomCat is a great Alaskan vessel, offering an unparalleled ride and excellent versatility. When coupled with twin 175 HP Suzuki outboards, you can go farther more safely, allowing you to enjoy a part of Alaska to which few can journey.

Nick O. is not shy when he speaks about the customer service he expects AMDS and AME to deliver, and those values are reflected over and over with online reviews from hundreds of happy customers and a 4.5 overall satisfaction score. Customer Chris P. is just one example of a satisfied customer, leaving this simple and concise review: “The staff at AK Mining are super friendly and knowledgeable. They made my first buying experience with them stress free. Would recommend them to anyone.”

The year 2021 is upon us, and so is yet another boating, fishing, and outdoor-adventure season, assured to be better than 2020 (I think I can promise that)! Imagine the personal satisfaction you and your family will have in that boat of which you’ve always dreamed! Imagine repowering your current boat with the newest, most fuel efficient, and most “green” power plant available. Also, imagine the wind in your hair as you’re exploring Alaska’s road system in your new, eye-catching, thrill-providing Vanderhall autocycle, of course with fishing rods in tow. Most importantly, imagine how much more of Alaska you’re going to be able to experience after you visit AMDS and AME in person or online at or




Troy Buzalsky is the Boats columnist for Fish Alaska magazine, and when not writing about boats, or working his career in the fire service, Troy can likely be found chasing fish in the Pacific Northwest and the 49th state and writing about those adventures. Troy can be reached at