Challenge issued to marine dealers

OAK PARK, Ill. – A group of 58 marine dealers is challenging the dealer community to help them boost attendance at the annual Marine Retailers Association of America Convention, the association reported in a statement today.

Last year’s convention attracted about 200 dealers, according to MRAA President Phil Keeter. In an effort they’re calling, “Challenge 1000,” the new group has a goal of raising that number to 1,000 dealers at this year’s Las Vegas event.

MRAA members from various areas of the country are spearheading the effort. Tom Gray, president of Boatland in Escondido, Calif. is a member of the MRAA 20 Group 101, and with his fellow members has formed a committee to work with MRAA 20 Group 102 and 104 to achieve the goal of 1,000 dealerships in attendance, according to MRAA.

Each 20 Group member has committed to recruit five other dealerships to attend, and will then follow up with those dealerships to have them recruit two additional dealerships.

“After attending the 2003 MRAA Convention, I realized how much was going on at MRAA,” Gray said. “The four Grow Boating initiatives committees – Marketing to Grow Boating; Product Quality and Standards; Dealer Quality and Standards; Timely and Accurate Sales Statistics Data – are actively working on these very serious issues. Both NMMA and MRAA have members on the committees. Dealers have much at stake and should be involved in the process. The convention programs, topics addressed and speakers were right on target.”

Gray’s committee will also be contacting all local, state and regional marine trades associations and other independent 20 Groups to follow its lead and assist in recruiting attendance at the November event.

“CHALLENGE 1000 had been unanimously accepted by the MRAA Board of Directors,” said John Sima, MRAA chairman. “The increased attendance will allow the association to broaden the convention content with more nationally prominent speakers and panels.”

The convention is again being held in conjunction with the Marine 1One Dealer Show and will be held at the Stardust Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The Marine 1One Show is Nov. 7-9 and the MRAA Convention is Nov. 9-11. Complete convention agenda, registration and hotel information will be released soon, MRAA reported.

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