MRAA says dealers answering CHALLENGE 1000

OAK PARK, Ill. – Marine dealers nationwide have taken up the call in response to the CHALLENGE 1000 campaign launched last week by colleagues who are attempting to attract 1,000 dealers to the Marine Retailers Association of America Annual Convention, according to a release yesterday from the MRAA.

Tom Gray of Boatland Inc. in Escondido and San Diego, Calif., who is spearheading the campaign to boost attendance at the convention, said he is starting to get calls and support from dealers around the country, some of whom are members of state trade associations.

“I’ll be there and will bring at least five other dealers,” said J.R. Means, III, of Bayport Yachts in Newport Beach, Calif., who is also a member of the Southern California Marine Association.

Gary Runciman of Boatland in Indianapolis, and member of the Indiana Marine Dealers Association, has also issued a challenge to dealers in his area, according to the association.

“All dealers in Indianapolis should be represented at the MRAA convention for 2004,” said Runciman in a letter to area dealers. “All of you know that MRAA is looking out for our best interests, not manufacturers. Let me know if we can count on your support in Vegas.”

Larry Russo of Russo Marine in Medford, Mass., who is also a member of the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association, praised the CHALLENGE 1000 effort, and stressed its importance to dealers in the industry.

“All of us should take the pledge to deliver five new attendees to ensure the success of CHALLENGE 1000,” Russo said. “Our industry is on the doorstep of adopting the powerful initiatives of the Grow Boating marketing campaign. Your contributions are vital to its success and the MRAA convention will provide the final platform for our voices to be heard.”

The MRAA convention is scheduled to be held Nov. 9 – 11 at the Stardust Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The MRAA said it will make complete hotel and convention registration information available shortly.

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