With five locations in the dealership battleground across southeast Florida, Marine Connection continues to outperform others and climb the ranks of Boating Industry’s Top 100.
“We have continued to grow and expand our presence in the Sunshine State to address the need and demand of boaters, particularly focusing on and targeting the fishing community,” co-owner and president John Kutuk said.
Marine Connection — aside from its commitment to exceptional customer service and continuous company growth — draws strength by a string of dealerships down the southeastern coast of Florida. From its northernmost dealership in Vero Beach to the company’s newest store in Islamorada, Marine Connection strives to keep its name known along the coast and beyond.
The last two years have been a time of expansion and renovation for Marine Connection with the company’s Fort Lauderdale location opening in 2017, the opening of its southernmost location at Islamorada in 2018, and numerous renovations and improvements to its already existing locations.
The company’s 3.5-acre flagship facility in West Palm Beach boasts 5,000 square feet of indoor showroom, with an additional 3,000 square feet of covered outdoor “dock” houses for boat display, and an outdoor display area with capacity to accommodate more than 160 boats. Along with ample space for boat showing, the West Palm Beach location features a service area large enough to service up to six boats simultaneously.
Marine Connection recently opened the doors to its newest location in Islamorada as an integral piece of the forthcoming Angler’s House Marina & Club, a recently merged two-marine, full-service operation which recently underwent a major $2 million renovation in April of 2018.
“With the addition of our new Islamorada facility, Marine Connection has truly emerged as a major industry presence in Florida, offering a robust, one-stop shop from Vero Beach to the Keys, with a dealership location at every 50 miles on average,” said Kutuk. “We firmly believe in the boating business and have invested significantly over the past few years in new facilities, staff and retail locations. Our goal is to provide superior product and service where the customers are, and to consistently deliver an exceptional, turnkey boating experience.”
“We enthusiastically welcome Marine Connection to the Anglers House Marina & Club,” said Victor Ballestas, marina owner/operator. “Marine Connection has an outstanding reputation for both sales and service within the national boating industry and provides a highly valuable consumer deliverable we didn’t previously offer, which rounds out our full-service marina capability.”
Ballestas, who purchased and has developed both properties over the past two years, said the combined new marina facilities now encompass 12 acres, featuring 35 wet slips and 250 new dry stack storage units. The property also includes a private membership club with resort-style pool, onsite gas/diesel station, 2,000-square foot tiki hut used for private membership functions and special events, and a full service bar.
Future plans include the launch of a dockside restaurant this fall, along with a 3,000-square-foot catering hall. In addition to the Marine Connection retail space, the complex also includes an onsite boat service facility; scuba and spear fishing services; kayak and paddleboard rentals; plus direct access to 37 independent fishing charter captains.
Marine Connection finds success through involving itself with various groups and organizations through its local community and industry-wide, including becoming a retail member of the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas and working toward the Marine Industry Certified Dealership Program certification process.
More locally, Marine Connection managing partner Danny Goldenberg is a member of the South Florida Chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, a global non-profit whose stated mission is to “Engage leading entrepreneurs to learn and grow.” Goldenberg has been an active member of this organization since August 2014 and is the chapter’s only boat dealership principal.
“We understand and embrace the importance of peer-to-peer collaboration and in ongoing professional development for ourselves and our team,” Kutuk said. “We have proactively taken the initiative on our own to facilitate business development and best practice initiatives within the boating industry and our community.”
After checking off numerous items from its to-do list, from store improvements and renovations to new customer and employee programs, and everything in between, Marine Connection’s efforts brought the dealership into a whole new level of Boating Industry’s Top 100 in 2018, as the dealership cracked the Top 10, settling into the No. 9 spot.