Correct Craft: Cable parks could entice new boaters
Cable parks offer interested wake boarders, water skiers and other watersports enthusiasts a chance to get on the water without the investment and maintenance costs of a boat. However, Correct Craft hopes its recent acquisition of the Orlando Watersports Complex will help steer more cable boarders and skiers behind the helm, President and CEO Bill Yeargin says.
The complex, located near Correct Craft’s Orlando headquarters, is one of the oldest in a growing number of parks found across the U.S. Transworld Wakeboarding reported that the number of parks tripled to 27 during 2009-2010. Since then, they’ve double again, and today there are 55 cable parks across the U.S., according to WakeScout.com.
The Orlando Watersports Complex and Correct Craft have had a strategic alliance going back to the park's inception in 2001, Yeargin said in a recent blog post. When Correct Craft began looking at opportunities in the cable park market, OWC was a first destination for his team.
"We have been studying the cable business for a year or two and see it as a fast growing opportunity," Yeargin said. "OWC is our hometown cable park and the most visited cable park in the world. It is a marquee brand as is our Nautique boats."
With the explosion of this market, Yeargin noted that other boat manufacturers are concerned that this growing sport could hurt sales. Rather than fight cable parks, Correct Craft will be looking for further ways to invest in the cable market.
To manage these investments, Correct Craft has formed a new wholly owned subsidiary, Aktion Parks. Through this subsidiary, the company will make further investments into this part of the business. Yeargin said the company is still working on branding and organization right now at Aktion Parks, but it does have plans to build or acquire more cable parks.
"We see the acquisition of OWC as a beginning, not an end, and want to look for other opportunities to invest in the cable market that provide synergy with our Nautique boats," Yeargin said.
OWC Founder and General Manager Rene Hofmann will be helping with the transition of the park, but will also be pursuing further opportunities for Aktion Parks in the cable park industry.
While these cable parks will stand on their own financially, they will also provide an inlet for potential customers into the boating industry. Additionally, Yeargin said the company sees a lot of potential for these parks to not just succeed on their own but to support dealers.
Aktion parks will work with Nautique Dealers as the company looks for new locations, and dealers may set up boat dealerships, pro shops or service facilities in conjunction with the cable parks.
"We see this potentially as a huge opportunity to support our dealers," Yeargin said.