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Skier’s Marine: Blazing a trail in teamwork and expansion

By Adam Quandt

From humble beginnings in 1995 selling boats in a vacant lot on the side of Highway 280 in Alabama, multi Top 100 award-winning Skier’s Marine has blazed a trail to four locations in two states, with a fifth location under construction in a third state.

Skier’s Marine headquarters sits just off of Highway 280 in Sterrett, Ala. and covers three acres of land, with an additional one-acre storage lot just up the road.

The property features two log buildings – that house sales and administration – overlooking a pond and two service buildings toward the back of the property. 

Upon entering the property, patrons are greeted with the dealership’s new boat inventory, a scenic pond, and a showroom and the surf shop.  Further along on the property, patrons come to the main building, which features the dealership’s proshop, sales center, additional show floor space and administration offices.

Skier’s Marine Atlanta recently received approval to begin construction on its permanent location.

Aside from their Sterrett location, Skier’s Marine also has two other locations in Albama: Athens and Lake Martin, a location in Chattanooga, Tenn., and a brand new location under construction in Atlanta, Ga.

The new venture in Atlanta also comes with a newly formed and incorporated Skier’s Marine Southeast, Inc.

The new location opened after the dealership finalized an agreement in late 2017 with Smoker Craft, Inc., with a plan to focus on pontoons and used boats, two of the fastest growing market segments in the United States.

Representing Smoker Craft’s SunChaser line of pontoons, Skier’s Marine Atlanta will offer customers quality pontoons at a value and as another option in the market. MasterCraft Boat Co. extended Skier’s Marine Atlanta the privilege of representing its line of inboards, company president and founder Rett Tyler said.

“MasterCraft has a long history of building the highest quality wake and ski boats in the industry. This partnership allows greater Atlanta wake and ski enthusiasts another option for sales and service,” he added.

Atlanta is the eighth most populous city in the country with a population boom that is not expected to decline anytime soon, Tyler said. “When we looked at expansion opportunities, we first considered who we could trust to manage the dealership and serve customers at this new company and dealership the way we currently do at our other company. General Manager Heidi Moore has a reputation for delivering excellent service to the market.”

Skier’s current Atlanta location is positioned just East of Lake Lanier in Oakwood, Ga. Construction plans for a permanent location were recently approved. Despite branching out to more and more locations, Tyler and his team at Skier’s aim to promote cohesion across all of their locations.

“Skier’s Marine Dealer Conference grew our culture in ways we were not expecting making our team cohesive among all three locations,” said Vice President Chad Tyler.

Skier’s Marine headquarters sits on three acres in Sterrett, Ala.

Skier’s held its first ever dealer conference last September as an event for all of their team members from all locations to come together and learn how to work better as a team unit.

The event featured guest speaker Max Strother, who tested the team members before the event and taught on various topics from conflict styles to intrinsic motivators. 

On top of coming together as a team, Skier’s Marine also participated in a variety of different groups in 2016 including the Parker Business Planning MasterCraft 20 Group, the MasterCraft Parr Moto Retail Performance Group, and the MasterCraft Dealer Advisory Council.

Tyler said that the data uncovered through the company’s involvement in the Parr Moto Retail Performance Group has led to substantial changes to the Skier’s Marine business model.

Skier’s Marine also credits their successes to a team of new hires from service technicians to specialists.

“After unexpected personnel changes in 2016, we were blessed to find outstanding individuals to fill our vacant positions,” Tyler said.

One key position on the list to be filled was a senior bookkeeper. 

“Due to the 41 percent growth in 2016, we knew that we had to make some changes to our accounting department,” Tyler said. “We were extremely lucky to find Sherry, who is now our senior bookkeeper and she has done a fantastic job in tightening our financial numbers. Our numbers now are the best and cleanest they have ever been.”

Skier’s Marine efforts led the company to over $18 million in revenue for 2016, a 41 percent increase over 2015.   

 

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