Powering ahead

The “vibe” at the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference in Tampa Tuesday on the opening day of the show was as strong as any I have sensed since pre-recession days. How much of that was attributable to the industry’s continuing recovery and how much was enthusiasm about the new venue is difficult to say. But […]

Two rising stars — the economy and Discover Boating

There’s encouraging news worth noting on two fronts — a rising consumer confidence index and recognition for the industry’s ongoing Discover Boating campaign. An expectation that the economy will continue to grow and incomes will rise is the latest good news coming out of the University of Michigan’s consumer confidence index. Last Friday, it was […]

‘The General’ will open up IBEX

“The key is not the will to win. Everybody has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that is important.” – Former Army, Indiana and Texas Tech men’s basketball coach Bob Knight. When legendary basketball coach Bob Knight opens the 2014 International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference next Tuesday morning, it’s a message thousands of […]

PETA gets shot down, while high swipe fees do not

Getting a “no” can be good or bad. Just look at the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or the Federal Reserve Board. The anti-fishing wingnuts from PETA are at it again. You’ll recall this is the group that wants to rename all fish “sea kittens,” thinking anglers will stop fishing if they’re hooking […]

We need the horsepower of the RV industry

I turned on the TV in Chicago last night and what did I see? It was a well-done Go RVing commercial. Here I am, I thought, in the nation’s second-largest market and I see the RV industry appropriately hitting it with a slick message. And I’m immediately ticked. Clearly the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association is […]

MDCE and fall shows are musts for dealers

A $100 discount for registration to the 2014 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo in Orlando, which runs Nov. 16-19, ends this Friday. But, savings aside, the real question is: why haven’t you registered? Those who regularly read this blog know how strongly I believe every marine dealer should attend the MDCE. Why? Because it’s the […]

Nautique steps up as the EPA still ponders

A shout out to Nautique president and CEO Bill Yeargin for stepping up to a deal with CBS as the title sponsor of the Nautique U.S. Open of Water Skiing. The U.S. Open has been dry-docked for seven years. Bringing it back as the Nautique U.S. Open will certainly serve Nautique well and that’s as […]

Tampa show continues on a roll

After an amazing breakthrough show last year with a 44 percent attendance increase, the Tampa Boat Show continued to set a good pace, albeit with an attendance increase last weekend that’s back down to more earthly growth. Show manager Larry Berryman reports attendance rose 4 percent to 18,858 with all three days experiencing steady crowds […]

When is it time to dump a customer?

We’ve always heard that “the customer is always right.” Why, if I look back at old blogs, I undoubtedly wrote those words, too. But when I did, I was wrong. The customer isn’t always right — or good for business. Heightened by the agonizing recession, we’ve been forced to put extra emphasis on customer retention […]

Growth tops estimates, but does trouble loom?

By now we’re all aware that the economy grew by a healthy 4.2 percent in the second quarter (April-June) topping early predictions and strongly suggesting growth is picking up speed. More good news comes from the University of Michigan’s announcement that its index of consumer sentiment rose to 82.5 in August from 81.8 in July. […]

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