Valley Isle Marine Center in Wailuku celebrating its 50th anniversary
WAILUKU – Valley Isle Marine Center in Wailuku is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2020. As anyone who’s run a longtime business knows, the seas can get choppy and it takes effort to stay afloat.
CEO Mark Tracy said that Valley Isle Marine Center started as a sole proprietorship in Wailuku, a block from its present location, and soon afterward moved to an old plantation house in Kahului, where he came aboard in 1976. The following year, VIM was incorporated.
By 1980, Tracy became the majority shareholder, and in 1995, moved the company back to Wailuku on Waiale Road. In 2000, the company expanded to its current boat dealership showroom location on the corner of Market and Wells streets in historic Wailuku. In 2015, its service center was consolidated there for customer as well as employee convenience.
“We have been impacted by four different recessions in an industry that is cyclical and seasonal,” recalls Tracy. “The great recession at the end of the last decade was a particular challenge because it affected our major Mainland suppliers. Yet we have survived and rebounded. Now Valley Isle Marine Center is growing again with six consecutive years of earnings.”
The state’s oldest boat and motor dealership, Valley Isle Marine Center keeps going strong. It opened a branch on the Big Island in 2012. Tracy purchased a lumberyard and warehouse at Shipman Industrial Area in Keaau near Hilo and installed Hawaii Marine Center there.
The Big Island satellite branch operates very much as the Wailuku store, serving both commercial and recreational boaters. Leading brands of boats, motors and trailers are offered at both locations. These include Honda, Mercury and Tohatsu outboard motors; Arima, Bayliner, Defiance and Zodiac boats; and galvanized and aluminum boat trailers. Both locations offer warranty, service and general repairs as well as parts and boating accessories.
From March 16 to 21, Valley Isle Marine Center and Hawaii Marine Center will roll out the first of yearlong anniversary promotions with the Honda Power of Boating Open House. Get the best deals of 2020 with double instant rebates on Honda outboard engines, ranging in size from 40 to 250 horsepower.
Tracy was awarded the Honda Marine Premier Dealer status in Las Vegas in October in recognition of the top performing dealerships in the United States in the areas of sales, service and training. He said he looks forward to offering Lahaina customers Open House prices and more.
“Boating is a special opportunity in Hawaii with our year-round weather, beautiful scenery and great fishing and diving. Getting into nature on the ocean is a wonderful experience. Most importantly, safe boating is fun boating – and we carry all Coast Guard recommended safety equipment,” he said.
“Historic Lahaina Town, with its rich nautical history, has always been a mecca for boating activities. Given its calm leeward waters, relatively close proximity by sea to Molokai and Lanai, its two-lane launch ramp and bustling small boat harbor, and unique roadstead, it is easy to see why boating is so popular off Lahaina’s shores. Valley Isle Marine Center has been supporting commercial and recreational boaters and fisherman on the West Side for five decades. I want to believe that we have contributed to ocean awareness, boating safety and commercial efficiencies in that time. I certainly appreciate the confidence West Side boaters have placed in my company and for their ongoing support.”
Valley Isle Marine Center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays to Fridays and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, call 244-2000.