Alliance Wake: You have a “Dri-Port”? Where is all the water?
Dri-Port Marine (Greg Maze): Dri-Port Marine is what you would call a “dry land marina”, since we began as a storage facility to keep your boat nice and dry when not being used, then later added the service and boat sales, etc. Most of our customers have to drive to the water so we’re located on the interstate.
A: Dri-Port Marine has some serious roots in Missouri. How long has the business been open?
DPM: We opened our doors in 1979 so we are celebrating our 35th anniversary this year!
A: So from storage to boats? What was the draw to boat sales?
DPM: My father had his first boat when he was 18 so like most people it was the love of boating that inspired him to expand into boat sales, and the fact that storage alone was a meager income at best.
A: When did the MasterCraft line come in the picture and what has an inboard boat line done for your business?
DPM: A major turning point for us was when we decided to build a new store located near Lake St. Louis which is known for its water sports so we knew we wanted a quality line of inboards and really MasterCraft was the first choice.
A: We see you have a pro shop too. When did wakeboard hard goods and soft goods come into the store and what wake brands can we find in the shop?
DPM: The Pro Shop started with the new store so it’s been growing for about 10 years now. We offer brands like Ronix, Hyperlite, CWB, O’Neill, and Fly High.
A: Dri-Port has been in the Top 100 Dealers for a few years running. How important is that accomplishment?
DPM: It’s a great honor to be in that group. We literally have so many ideas that we want to utilize and continuous improvements to make, so for us it just keeps pushing us to keep going and making things better for our customers and employees.
A: Missouri is home to a number of major wakeboard events including BROstock. Does Dri-Port host or get involved with any events in the area?
DPM: We do, in addition to supporting our local ski club we were very excited to be one of the title sponsors of a new event going into its second year here called Midwest Nightfly. Watching athletes flying almost 200’ under the lights was really cool!
A: Having so many years of experience in the boat industry, how important is boating to the people of the Midwest?
DPM: They are definitely passionate about it, it’s one of the best activities a family can do together. With so many things that pull on our recreation time it’s vitally important that our industry works together to support all ages of enthusiasts. Teaching a kid to ski or wakeboard or even wakesurf is something they will never forget. That’s really cool!
A: Keeping the doors of a business open for over 35 years isn’t easy. What does Dri-Port do differently than most boat/pro shop dealers?
DPM: We really try to take good care of our customers by going above and beyond whenever possible and having high quality products that they will enjoy using. Word of mouth has always been our best advertising.
A: Where do you see Dri-Port Marine in the next 10 years?
DPM: We will continue to improve in the way we do business and with an improving economy be open to new partnerships and events like the Midwest Nightfly that will hopefully advance this great sport.
A: In your opinion, where do you see the growth in the wake sports industry over the next few years?
DPM: Certainly wakesurfing is exploding right now. More cable parks would be a real benefit in our area and really there are just so many people that have not been able to experience any of these sports that hopefully with the introduction of products like MasterCraft’s NXT we can introduce real watersports to more buyers.
A: If you could change one thing about boating or wakeboarding, what would it be and why?
DPM: I think it has to be the cost of the sport. The gear and equipment is on par with other sports but the cost of a boat is a big obstacle for most people. I know it’s a familiar topic to many and my hope is that one day the masses are again enjoying everything boating has to offer.
300 Lake Bluff Drive
O’Fallon, MO 63366