LAKE SPRINGFIELD MARINA
Lake Springfield Marina
17 Waters Edge Blvd.
Springfield, IL 62707
Lake Springfield Marina was founded in 1991 in a different location on Lake Springfield. The marina has 165 slips in addition to its PWC and boat lines. Carries Sea-Doo watercraft as well as Yamaha jet boats and WaveRunners. Also carries Chaparral and Starcraft boats. The current 21-acre parcel is zoned for a hotel, restaurant, convenience store and other retail. Gordon hopes to have the land developed in the next two years. Strongest market is PWC. They sell approx 75-85 new and 120-150 used/consignment PWC per year. Eleven full time employees, doubles to 22 during summer months.
“We've got a rental operation and every year we battle with finding insurers that will take the whole package,” says Gordon. “We tried to do it with local agents for several years and finally we realized that they were probably out of their element, so we ended up going with a company that does marine insurance on a nationwide basis and that's been a real help.”
“With Sea-Doo, for sure it's the RXT, the big machines, the three seaters,” says Gordon. “Everybody loves the power of the RXT and RXP. With Yamaha it was the VX110, but we just couldn't get them. I think we ended up getting four and then swiped a couple more from another dealer, and that was all we could get. I think that is going to be a hot model again in '06.”
CUSTOMER BUYING TRENDS
“There are 750 lake leases on this lake that we are on, [it's] some of the more expensive property in the city,” says Gordon. “The lake homeowners are the people that buy watercraft from us and our slip renters keep us busy.”
“This is a Corps of Engineers lake but a local city utility manages the lake,” says Gordon. “We gave the police department a slip and lift to use for the past few years. We gave them and RXT this year to [patrol the lake]. They're happy that we're there and we do a good service for them.”
PARTS AND SERVICE
Lake Springfield Marina has one full time parts person and 2-3 people that act as parts and service people. A service writer who also does some sales works with the full time service manager. There is also one person who does nothing but full time dock work.“That's the real profitable part of the business, in my opinion,” says Gordon. “The service end of it has been really strong. We have the highest designation you could get by every brand we represent.”
PROMOTIONAL HOME RUNS
“Billboards to the north and south are something that we just signed the contract on for the next year. And we have done a great job on our Website, which surprised the heck out of me,” Gordon said. The marina also sponsors an in-water boat show, usually the weekend before Memorial Day weekend.
WORDS OF ADVICE
Gordon's background is in financial planning and money management. “It just amazes me how in bad shape some of these boat dealers and marinas were. And how poorly they ran their business. If we've done anything, we're running it like a business. We really take the time to analyze and look at everything we do to make sure it makes sense.”
- Blake Stranz