Performance Boat Center, the mega-dealership and service center with locations in Missouri and South Florida, held one of its biannual Fun Run events from its Osage Beach, MO, shop this past weekend.

In a country besieged by the Coronavirus, the Fun Run signaled the beginnings of a return to normalcy in our industry and lifestyle—and the capacity crowd hosted by PBC strongly indicated that boaters are ready to get back on the water and start having fun again.

“It was a home run,” said PBC co-owner Brett Manire. “It was spectacular. We had between 40 and 50 boats, half of which were from the Lake of the Ozarks area and half trailered in. We had a huge amount of people coming from other areas to come enjoy the lake, and to enjoy going to a restaurant again. The turnout was great—it was like the Miami Boat Show Poker Run—there were so many new boats that you haven’t seen before. A lot of high-dollar stuff.”

Attendees included Burton Kirsten and Vinnie Diorio, as well as Alex Pratt, who brought his new 48 MTI. Also on hand were a trio who hauled their boats up from Louisiana:

Nate Michel, who brought his MTI.

Scott Favre, who brought his 50′ Outerlimits.

James Brandon, who brought his 388 Skater.

“We had a neat variety of boats and people that wouldn’t usually take the time to come to Missouri in May,” Manire said.

With some sensible social distancing, PBC’s expansive Redhead Yacht Club restaurant was open for business as well. “Everything was kept clean, and we had hand sanitizer all over the place,” Manire says. “We’re still doing curbside to-go orders as well, but the dining area was open with the tables and chairs spread out.” In addition, people kept their distance from each other at the mandatory driver’s meeting.

“I didn’t want to do a formal start,” Manire explains. “I wanted to keep everybody away from each other, and then get to our locations at different times so they could tie up and not be around other people. We did the best we could, but you could really tell that people were definitely ready to get out and have some fun and go boating.”

The Fun Run itinerary kicked off Saturday with a tour of some of the new boats on display at PBC (MTIs, Sunsations, Wright Performances, etc.) with a breakfast spread. Fuel facilities were open to give the boats a quick drink, and following the driver’s meeting, it was off to lunch at The Fish and Company waterfront bar, a casual American restaurant on the lake with a dock, outdoor seating and seasonal live music, located at mile marker 31. The next stop was Dog Days Bar & Grill, located on the main channel at mile marker 19. Some boats made some fly-bys to entertain the crowd. Then it was back to Redhead Yacht Club for dinner and drinks. Some attendees hung around on Sunday to extend their experience at LOTO.

“Everybody had a great time. It was a beautiful weekend,” Manire says.

Let this Fun Run be a taste of things to come—sooner rather than later!