Grand Opening of Pride Marine Group Chaparral Store on Highway 400


So, what's a marina without water? Down it poured – just buckets of rain –  for the Grand Opening of the new Pride Marine Group Chaparral dealership at Innisfil, Ontario on the perpetually busy Highway 400.

More than 200 customers had RSVPd that they would attend, but many more visitors  wound up arriving; probably well over 300 people braved the downpour on Friday,  September 30 to see the new dealership and the Chaparral boats on display.

Pride Marine staff were standing by to open the doors and welcome all guests down the red carpet and into the brightly lit, spacious showroom.

COO and CFO Paul Nickel and Dan Pride, Director of Operations took to the podium to welcome the guests; they cut the red ribbon, the band played and the hors d'oeuvres circulated all evening. We cornered Pride Marine Group Director of Sales and Marketing, Jeff Barnes for a more detailed discussion about how their organization came to be opening this major new dealership.

“It was really perfect timing,” Jeff Barnes told us, “Paul [Nickel] had been talking for some time about setting up a sales focused place that  was closer to the Greater Toronto Area where we could meet our customers on their way to and from big boat areas like Lake Simcoe, Georgian Bay and points on the Trent Severn system  without asking them to drive to any of the more northerly locations the Pride Marine Group operates.”

The process began almost 3 years ago when the Chaparral organization was talking to Pride Marine Group about setting up a dealership  in the busy and affluent Muskoka and Lake of Bays areas. The deal was struck and since that time, the Pride Marine Group has become a Top 10 Chaparral dealer. Chaparral builds boats 18 to 42 feet though and the larger models need larger bodies of water. As Jeff described it, there was an unexpected market vacuum this spring when another Chaparral dealership went into receivership, very close to the new Pride facility in Innisfil.

As Jeff  described it, there was a perfect match in that both their gorgeous building and the Chaparral dealership for that area became available at about the same time. Within 48 hours of discussion and very positive decisions, the deal was done. Business wise, this makes great sense for the Pride Marine Group as way to continue to elevate their service levels while adding a new measure of convenience for their customers. At the same time, this secures Chaparral's  presence in a key market area.

Don't miss the "Impact" profile on Paul Nickel and the Pride Marine Group in the October Boating Industry Canada magazine!

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