Florida-based Legendary Marine earned the Dealer of the Year award from Boating Industry magazine.
Winners of the 2012 Top 100 Boat Dealers awards were named Wednesday night at a gala at the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo in Orlando, Fla.
“The Top 100 list has made me better,” an emotional Fred Pace, co-owner of Legendary Marine, said in his acceptance speech.
“This was a total surprise,” he told Soundings Trade Only.
“When evaluating Legendary Marine, we were impressed by the company’s rapid growth, strong financials and heavy investments in marketing, education and service,” Boating Industry editor Jonathan Sweet said in a statement. “It’s clear that Fred Pace and his team have made the right choices to guide Legendary through the recession and into the recovery.”
The six-hour, island-themed event included dinner, dancing and a few dealers on stage in grass skirts doing the hula.
Along with the Top 100, Boating Industry inducted a new company into the Top 100 Hall of Fame: Prince William Marine Sales of Woodbridge, Va. Prince William joins the two previous inductees, Galati Yacht Sales and MarineMax. Companies are inducted into the Hall of Fame after twice being ranked as the top dealer.
“This group of dealers truly represents the elite of the boating industry, companies that are excelling in customer satisfaction, service and overall business success,” Sweet said in a statement about the Top 100. “From thousands of dealers in North America, these 100 companies stand out as the best of the best.”
Boating Industry also recognized eight other dealers with Best in Class awards.
• Best Website: Action Water Sports, Hudsonville, Mich.
• Best Place to Work: Port Harbor Marine, South Portland, Maine
• Best Boat Show Strategy: The Sail & Ski Center, Austin, Texas
• Best Events: Parks Marina, Okoboji, Iowa
• Best Industry Advocate: Buckeye Marine, Bobcaygeon, Ontario
• Most Innovative: WakeSide Marine, Elkhart, Ind.
• Best Marketing: BMC Boats, Longwood, Fla.
• Best Service Department: Gordy’s Lakefront Marine, Fontana, Wis.
— Reagan Haynes