Owner Dennis Turner completes a sale for a customer last week at RC Destination in Skowhegan. The business relocated from Norridgewock. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel

SKOWHEGAN — A previously vacant storefront in Skowhegan has taken on new life as a regional destination for those with an interest in remote-controlled vehicles.

RC Destination, previously located down the road in Norridgewock, opened its new location in Skowhegan last week, and its owners expect to soon finish building an indoor racetrack there.

Husband and wife Dennis and Danielle Turner own the store, located at 6 Main St. in the Skowhegan Plaza, across from the island downtown.

They had a large following at their previous location but Friday’s opening was the biggest weekend for the business in the last several months, Dennis Turner said.

Remote-controlled vehicles are displayed last week at RC Destination’s new location on Main Street in Skowhegan. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel

“I probably saw 50, 60 new customers over the weekend that we have never seen in the last four and a half years,” Turner said. “And I would say 60 percent of them bought something.”

The 7,500-square-foot space had been vacant since 2016 when a clothing shop there closed after a couple of years in operation. The space had previously sat empty for more than two decades. It’s nearly nine times the size of the Turners’ location in Norridgewock.


“We packed a lot of stuff in a small space,” Turner said about the prior location in Norridgewock, looking relieved at the larger Skowhegan space.

Rows of shelves at the store hold dozens of models of remote-controlled vehicles, including airplanes, and also boxes with hundreds of replacement parts. Behind the shelves, Turner is almost done building a carpeted race track and “crawling” area — think of something like off-roading — that will take up about two-thirds of the store.

Similar stores in the Bangor and Portland areas do not offer a facility as large as RC Destination’s, according to Turner.

Once he finishes constructing the track in the next month or so, he plans to host race nights, birthday parties and other events for both children and adults.

“It’s super mixed,” Turner said about the clientele he sees interested in the store. “Our average is probably 9 to 40 (years old). That’s pretty vast.”

In fact, Turner, 39, first got into remote-controlled vehicles when he went to a party for his father-in-law about 20 years ago.


That party was held at Granite Leisure Time, a remote-control hobby shop in Oakland, which Turner’s father-in-law bought and moved to Norridgewock in 2018. He died a few months later and the Turners took over running the store.

“He had a great support system and a lot of people that wanted to see the shop continue,” Danielle Turner said about her father. “My mom agreed that she wanted to see it continue. We weren’t sure about the longevity when we started it, but it’s grown significantly over the years.”

Customers browse remote-controlled vehicle parts and other items last week at RC Destination’s new location on Main Street in Skowhegan. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel

The Turners run the store themselves, though they said they have several friends who help out. Their three children, all RC hobbyists themselves, are often in the store with them.

Plans for the space include hiring employees and expanding hours beyond the current Wednesday through Saturday schedule.

Dennis Turner is hoping he can soon transition away from his construction job to dedicate more time to the store.

“This started as a side gig,” he said. “But we’re trying to get away from me pounding nails.”

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