One year ago, who would have imagined a novel coronavirus, COVID-19, would interrupt our lives and businesses? We really never thought about such a thing around here, and it seems neither did most of our customers. In January 2020, the South Florida boating season was in full swing, and ARG Marine
was as busy as usual. Our sales and service departments started off the year with above-average numbers compared to the same time the year before. We continued to do well in February, but the March federal declaration of a public health emergency due to the coronavirus was of concern to us and many other businesses in our community. And then, when Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order instructing everyone in the state of Florida to “take a pause” for 30 days and stay home amid the coronavirus pandemic, business came to a standstill.
Marine, outboard engine sales
and service from Riviera Beach to West Palm Beach were slow. Industry-wide, the COVID-19 driven shutdown impacted boat sales by more than a third in April and May across the country. The good news is that what seemed like doom and gloom eventually ended up on the bright side. For that fact and from the bottom of our hearts, ARG
Marine would like to say “thank you” to everyone that made this bizarre 2020 a success. The outbreak was terrible, but it led to a whole new level of appreciation and passion for spending time on the water.
At first, business slowed down, people began to work remotely, and schools closed. Theme parks, swimming pools, vacations, and baseball were no longer an option for leisure activities. But when the boating season started to move into summer, the outdoors became a renaissance of sorts as stir-crazy Americans took refuge on the water. That happened because everyone got tired of seeing the four walls inside their homes, and boating became a very desirable activity for safe social distancing with their friends and family. Because of the pandemic, boating too became the ultimate staycation
Spending time on the lakes, rivers, and oceans swept the United States from the navigable 3,000 miles long Intracoastal Waterway in our backyard to northern five Great Lakes and from Lake Washington between the cities of Seattle and Bellevue, and south to California’s seven-mile Big Bear Lake. The boating surge certainly illustrated a shift in lifestyle across America, and ARG Marine, like others in our industry, was soon very busy helping customers.
Families with kids no longer had a schedule. Suddenly there was a lot of time for boating. Our web traffic was up as shopping via the web seemed to take over––in a flash. Customers were searching for new and pre-owned boats and outboard motors of all kinds, and as soon as we put something new online, our phone was ringing. With a growing desire for new and experienced boaters to be out on the water, our service department was at full capacity the entire season.
We worked with our suppliers, and with their support, kept hundreds of boaters out on the water by meeting our need to immediately ship parts and accessories. We have had more than 30 years of building those relationships and could not have done it without them.
Once again, thank you to our loyal patrons and fantastic staff. We here at ARG
look forward to keeping you out on the water for many years to come.