Currently in Sarasota, Fla., Randy Kent of Midwest Boating Center, a top Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats dealer based in Kaiser, Mo., is eager to return to the Lake of the Ozarks. Not only does his dealership serve the area, Marine Concepts—his custom digitized powerboat cover company—is based in the lakeside city of Osage Beach. And despite the COVID-19 pandemic, both businesses reportedly are booming.
In the past two weeks, Kent has delivered two new Nor-Tech 390 Sport Center Consoles, one with quad Mercury Racing 450R outboards and another with triples. Both were purchased by previous owners of 34-foot Nor-Tech center consoles.
Midwest Boating Center also has a Nor-Tech 450 going to longtime customer Shelby Smith, the owner of Elite Autos, LLC, in Jonesboro, Ark. Currently in paint at the Nor-Tech facility in Fort Myers, Fla., it will be the second 45-footer owned by the well-known Ford GT aficionado.
“That delivery should be happening sometime during the second week in May,” Kent said. “We also took an order for a 390 last week, and we put in another order for an inventory boat that we hope to have in time for the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout.”
Though Kent estimated boat-cover sales have dipped 20 to 25 percent since the novel coronavirus outbreak, that business also remains busy. As incentives, he said that he recently gave his employees at the Osage Beach facility a two-dollar-an-hour raise and “unlimited overtime.”
“Our cover factory isn’t open to the public—it’s a factory,” he said. “The sewing stations are all separate from one another and the place is immaculate. Instead of getting 10 orders a week—and we just got three from boat owners in Texas—we’re getting seven or eight. Our business hasn’t stopped. We’re swamped. We are blessed enough to have a good customer base and a good product. It’s full speed ahead.”