Meet Dustin Lehman of Raymond’s Boat & Motor Sales, Inc. If you’re looking for a boat dealership with history – this is the place! Raymond’s Boats has been around for decades, in fact they recently celebrated their 55th business anniversary! That’s a dealership that truly knows the ins and outs of The Lake of the Ozarks.
Learn more about their business with the Q&A Interview below:
Give us a brief introduction to who you are and to your business (what you do):
Raymond’s Boat & Motor Sales, Inc. is the oldest marine dealership at the Lake of the Ozarks. We offer boat sales, service, storage and slip rentals at our marina in downtown Gravois Mills.
Tell us about how your business got started:
After investing 15 years at the General Motors plant in Kansas City, Missouri, Raymond and Charlene Ollison moved to the Lake of the Ozarks, along with their children, Larry and Reta, and purchased Ben’s Boat and Motor Service. The name was changed to Raymond’s Boat and Motor Sales and on January 1, 1965 the marina was opened on the 47 mile marker on Lake Road 135-3 in Gravois Mills.
The marina grew and in February of 1968 expansion became necessary. Tom Collins Boats and Motors, located across the street from the present Gravois Mills Post Office, was purchased and operated in the same building for the next two years.
With expansion again becoming necessary, seven acres one mile south of Gravois Mills was purchased and a new steel building was erected. This new location opened in May of 1970.
Through the 1970’s the business grew rapidly and Raymond’s soon became the World’s Largest IMP Boat Dealer. In 1976, the Ollisons purchased Valentines Resort and Marina located at the Hurricane Deck Bridge. On June 26, 1978 Raymond Ollison purchased the IMP Boat factory and Richmar Industries (an aluminum manufacturing plant) in Iola, Kansas.
After a few years, Henderson’s Marina in Gravois Mills became available and was purchased to give Raymond’s a waterfront location on the Gravois Arm.
Through the 1980’s the business further expanded and acquired the Fountain Powerboat franchise and became one of the largest powerboat dealers in the nation. In 1993 Raymond’s acquired Gene’s Boat Sales on Highway 54 in Osage Beach, located across from Lake Regional Hospital. This is a premium location in the heart of the nation’s largest boat sales areas.
Raymond’s Boat and Motor Sales, with two lake area locations, is the oldest continuous family owned marine business at the Lake of the Ozarks.
Why do you do what you do?
Love helping people enjoy the lake lifestyle! Nothing is better than a day or night on a boat! Last year we sold boats to customers in 11 different states. The people and stories you get are great.
What are some things that help you stand out as a business?
Oldest marine dealer at the Lake of the Ozarks. We have survived when many dealers have came and go over the years. Great location in Gravois Mills. Only marina located right on Highway 5.
What do you envision for the future of your business?
Future in the marine business looks bright. Recreational boating is a great vacation and get away! I see growth and expansion in the future.
What is something that inspires you each day in your work?
Making people smile. That smile when people buy the boat of their dreams – from a small fishing boat or runabout to high performance speed boat. That smile is the same.
What are some great things about the local area?
Lake of the Ozarks is the one of the greatest areas in the world. Beautiful lake, pro business government. We get the joy of living in a rural area with suburban amenities.
How can customers and consumers support local businesses like yours?
Buy and support local business when you can. Several of our customers are local business owners as well. We also love the referrals from local business and we do the same. Also if we don’t offer a service or know where a customer can get the service better, we refer them to the right dealership or marina. Being honest with the customers is the best in the long run.
Where can we connect with you? (Share website, social channels, contact information)
Whether your looking for a new boat, or a boat slip rental for your current ride – Raymonds is your place! Quality and service you can trust, all run by family.
Check out more with their business listing here.