LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. — Premier 54, the well-known boat dealership at the Lake—and the number one Chaparral Boats dealer in the world—has been bought by Rick Ball and Steve Brink.
The duo adds Premier 54 to their growing portfolio of marine businesses at Lake of the Ozarks. Ball emphasized, however, that Premier 54's team would be staying on: from management to sales, the company's loyal customers will still walk in and see familiar faces.
Premier 54 has been growing into a successful, reputable boat dealer at the Lake. Started by brothers Russ and Rich Martin, the business gained a growing and faithful base of clients. In 2019, Premier 54 was recognized by Chaparral as the #1 Chaparral dealer in the world. In 2020, they purchased long-time west-side marine business Advantage Marine.
That trajectory, and the allure of Chaparral, is what drew Ball and Brink to buy Premier 54.
“We looked at [Chaparral’s] registrations through the state and saw that it was a good quality boat and had a lot of sales,” Ball said.
The diversification allows them to reach more customers, and Ball says that strategy has driven their prior boat dealership purchases. They opened Formula Boats of Missouri in 2010 at the former Dave Mungenast Marina. Then Ball and Brink bought Yacht Club Powersports in 2011, Marty’s Marine in 2015, and Iguana Marine Group (IMG) in 2019.
Ball’s first business passion was cars. He and his wife Terri saved all of her paychecks as a teacher to start their first Chevy dealership in 1979. He would go on to start a Ford dealership in 1984 in Boonville, Mo., a Pontiac Oldsmobile Cadillac in 1988, GMC in 1993, an independent body shop in 2008, and a Ford dealership in Sedalia in 2009.
Ball’s entrepreneurship with boats began in 1986, buying and selling boats on a small scale. Steve Brink bought a used boat from him, and decades later, the two men are among the Lake area’s boating business titans.
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