Wind in our sails as winter boat shows near

Concern about weak Black Friday sales and whether they might indicate the economy is slowing was misleading. That’s because the actual November retail sales results released last week beat expectations. Specifically, total retail sales rose a healthy 0.7 percent in November as holiday shopping got under way. Analysts had expected a rise of only 0.4 […]

How does the customer see a dealership?

Seeing a dealership from the viewpoint of a customer isn’t easy and won’t always come naturally. But it’s worth it, suggests Micah Solomon, a customer experience consultant, speaker and the bestselling author of “High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service.” Every dealer has a point of view about his or her business, the customer’s experience and the quality […]

Oil and gas news is mostly encouraging

Marine dealers located in the Gulf of Mexico region affected by the disastrous 2010 BP oil spill need to know they’re now eligible for damage claims from the Deepwater Horizon Economic and Property Damages Settlement Agreement. On Dec. 5, the Supreme Court ruled against BP’s lawsuit to vacate the settlement agreement it had previously signed. […]

Dealers should check employment law compliance

An inspector from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration walks into a dealership and asks to see the required posted notices to all employees. Regrettably, some aren’t there, others are out of date. That will be a $7,000 fine (per occurrence) for non-compliance, the man from the government says. With all the demands of running […]

Could falling oil prices be a double-edge sword?

You’ve gotta love the fact that consumers are paying much less for gasoline and, therefore, have more cash to spend. It’s better for the economy than any government stimulus program and it bodes well for the marine industry. That said, however, while we speculate these days just how low oil prices could go, we should […]

Is boating competing against video games?

In the marine industry, we talk about competing for the discretionary dollars with golf, RVs and so on. But have we ever considered video games? On a flight back to Tampa, the two guys next to me were playing video games on their smartphones and iPads. So were a couple of others I could see […]

EPA’s ‘quick kicks’ on ethanol

Seeing no gain of yardage in the ethanol game, the Environmental Protection Agency “quick kicked” by announcing it will further delay, until sometime in 2015, a determination of the quantity of ethanol required to go into the nation’s gas supply for 2014. Not familiar with football’s “quick kick?” Back in the 1960s, Indiana University was […]

Boat show producers expect strong winter

With just one major fall in-water show left this year — the Dec. 4-7 St. Petersburg Power & Sailboat Show — discussions centered on expectations for the industry’s winter shows at the meeting of the National Marine Trades Council last weekend in Orlando, Fla. The unanimous conclusion: The pendulum has swung the other way. While […]

Industry is seeing many successes on the state level

If reports from more than a dozen marine trade associations from around the country are any indication, efforts are in high gear to pursue favorable legislation for the marine industry. Gathering at the annual meeting of the Advisory Council of Marine Associations last Saturday in Orlando, leaders of local and state trade groups shared information […]

Council needs to be a check on new Congress

As the lame-duck session of the 113th Congress that has raised accomplishing nothing to a high art gets under way, the Advisory Council of Marine Associations will tackle a wide-ranging agenda at its annual meeting this weekend in Orlando. The council is made up of representatives from the industry’s national and local marine trade associations. […]

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