At Parks Marina (Ranked 14 in 2005), Okoboji, Iowa, the goal is to create an environment where people “absolutely, positively cannot resist making a purchase,” according to the company. Parks spends most of its energy creating and advertising itself as a destination, focusing on getting customers to the store and letting the package sell them. The facilities represent a “club everyone wants to be a part of,” the dealer says, and it includes the Barefoot Bar, an on-water restaurant complete with temporary dock spaces in the marina and a playground for the kids. Not to mention the shiny new boats behind glass walls.
Lake Geneva, Wis.-based Gordy’s Lakefront Marine (Ranked 15 in 2005) operates in much the same way, creating an environment where customers can enjoy the boating atmosphere at the Cobalt Lounge or sneak downstairs to see the latest and greatest products.