Lake Delton Watersports Complex Project of Distinction 



Steve and Kathy Zowin founded Dells Watersports Boat Rentals in 1979. This family-owned business, along with their two sons, Nick and James, is a Yamaha, Avalon, SunCatcher, and G3 Boats dealer. It offers a full-service marina with on-site marine techs, sales, and a wide variety of rentals from canoes and kayaks to pontoon boats and wave runners in three locations located on Lake Delton, Mirror Lake, and Castle Rock Lake. Lacking a showroom and sales office, the Zowin’s wanted to expand upon their current 400 square-foot building with a new state of the art 10,000 square-foot showroom to house their boats and a 5,000 square-foot service department to include sales offices and service bays. It also included display and storage mezzanines. This growth expansion that targeted market penetration will stimulate sales by attracting and retaining new customers and offering a more diverse range of products.

Due to its location, the building needed to meet the exterior requirements from the Village of Lake Delton. This Butler Pre-Engineered Metal Building was ordered from the preliminary plans due to 6-8 month lead times for production to meet the owner’s schedule. This ensured an earlier delivery time and saved the owner money due to rising material costs. Coordination between Kingspan, Butler, the architect, the engineer, and Holtz Builders was required to create a unique, awe-inspiring building that ensured the façade would be structurally sound based on allowable loads. The building had to be “re-visualized” from a pre-engineered metal building standpoint. Exterior cladding and stone veneer were placed over insulated panels for aesthetic appeal. As the architect and engineer worked diligently through the design, the extra cladding and stone veneer required additional backing and blocking for the Kingspan panels to support the loads and led to extended installation time. 

In addition, the owner incorporated five exterior signs into the design. The structural engineer provided drawings that showed extra support to house the signs. The sign company came out to line up the supports and fasten the signs to the building. The end result was an appealing, innovative mix of materials and colors that combined the technological and the aesthetic to powerful and thought-provoking. The different colors, orientation, and textures of the cladding, along with the stone veneer and light cherry wood-grained panels, created a striking visual distinction that was further accentuated by decorative trim, lighting, and expansive windows to attract and retain new customers.

Watersports facility project Holtz Builders

During the steel erection, high winds, ice, and snow slowed the steel setting process.  Due to the typical erection of a metal building, high winds or extremely cold conditions limit safe working conditions. Holtz Builders supplied ground thaw units to clear the floors so that the structural steel contractor could start building the walls. Cold temperatures persisted negatively impacting the schedule. This effect carried over to the installation of the exterior cladding and the roof system, which faced similar issues in the coldest months of the year. Between several weather delays, material lead times, and the limited manpower from subcontractors, the project was delayed about six weeks from its original schedule. 

Delay of materials and resulting subcontractor re-scheduling were two of the greatest challenges of this project. Supply chain issues delayed structural steel delivery for two months. This caused the steel crew to leave for a different job while waiting for the steel to arrive. The delay of the steel delivery and waiting for the crew to be available again, stressed the schedule.  As to not delay the interior construction process, temporary panels were constructed for window and overhead door openings due to a delay in those materials, so temporary heating could begin to dry out the building. In addition, difficulty in obtaining the specified color of the exterior wood-grain cladding and the stone veneer caused an installation delay of three weeks. Despite all these setbacks, the Holtz Builder’s team kept everyone informed through daily updates, extended walk-throughs and notifications of any changes. This ensured quality workmanship and minimized added time to the project by focusing on progress of the tasks that could be completed with the materials on hand.

With the late fall concrete pour of the 10,000 square foot showroom floor, the subcontractor chose to break it up into three separate pours to minimize the chance of weather affecting the finished product and also due to a smaller finishing crew than desired. The use of a Telebelt and laser screen were used to help offset the smaller finishing crew. This state of the art showroom has a 90’ clear span of unobstructed space to display vessels. It also included a service counter, sales offices, a customer lounge, and two display mezzanines.  Carpeting was installed in the offices, lounge, and vestibule areas. The retail Point of Sale cabinets and countertop were positioned to create a comfortable and productive workspace.

This expansion added much needed space for their growing business. They developed their vision for growth, their values of family and unity, and a mission to diversify their sales and service department that drove this 15,000 square foot vision into a working business model that can be passed on to their dedicated sons and employees who share their vision. Coordination between Kingspan, Butler, the architect, the engineer, and Holtz Builders was required to marry the two design systems of the Kingspan Panels and the insulated panels.  Exterior cladding and stone veneer were placed over the insulated panels. Despite all the challenges that came with a pre-engineered metal building – availability of materials, availability and scheduling of subcontractor labor, and working through extreme weather conditions – the Dells Watersports owners are poised for success for decades to come.