By Jonathan Sweet
Here at Boating Industry, we have been recognizing the best boat dealers in North America for 15 years.
Every company on this year’s list is worthy of recognition. And I’m thrilled to see a record number of new applicants bring a fresh perspective to the program in 2019.
At the same time, we’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about the rich history of companies that have made the program successful since 2005. It is the dealers that drive the Top 100. Without them, there is no program.
Over those 15 years, the industry has seen many changes – and the Top 100 list has been no different. Thousands of companies have been nominated and hundreds of companies have been represented on the list over the last decade and a half. Some companies spent a single year on the list; others have been part of the program for years.
But only 15 dealerships can boast membership in the Top 100 for all 15 years of the program. These Top 100 Legends have survived the Great Recession, years of too much and not enough inventory, droughts, tough winters and a bevy of other challenges.
The Top 100 Legends:
- Gage Marine
- Gordy’s Lakefront Marine
- Hampton Watercraft and Marine
- Legendary Marine
- Marine Center of Indiana
- Omaha Marine Center
- Prince William Marine
- Rambo Marine
- Russo Marine
- Shipyard Marine
- Short’s Marine
- The Sail & Ski Center
- The Sportsman
Yet despite that, these companies continue to thrive and earn the recognition they deserve as the best of the best. They’ve shown tenacity and dedication to improvement by undergoing the rigorous evaluation process every year. Even in the worst of years, they didn’t take a year off or slack off on their application.
These dealers deserve recognition, but they also realize the Top 100 isn’t about what they get out if it. They know that the Top 100 is about making the entire industry better by sharing their ideas and practices with every dealer out there. A better industry, better competition, is good for all of us.
I also want to be sure to thank the group of organizations that make the Top 100 program possible. These companies and associations — Volvo Penta, Dealer Profit Services, Evinrude, Kicker Marine Audio and the Water Sports Industry Association — recognize the importance of supporting the best dealers in the industry.
The support of the Top 100 Leadership Alliance allows us to not only recognize the Top 100, but also to share their best practices with the entire industry throughout the entire year.