BOAT BUILDERS KICKOFF RECEPTION
By Duane Wollmuth, Executive Director, SEWEDA
The Snake River Boat Builders Export Program was officially launched on June 2 with a kickoff reception in Clarkston at the Quality Inn. The reception, underwritten by program partner Southeast Washington Economic Development Association (SEWEDA), was a great opportunity for all program participants and sponsors to get-together, meet one another and learn more about what has become the most exciting economic development opportunity for the Lewis Clark Valley in many years.
Brief remarks about the program were provided by Christine Frei (Executive Director, Clearwater Economic Development Association), Janet Bauermeister (Director, U.S. Commercial Service/Spokane), Gary A. White (President, P’Chelle International), and Duane Wollmuth (Executive Director, SEWEDA). Guests learned about the upcoming training boat builders will receive in coming months preparing them for sales into the European Union, visits by German distributors and a program expo in the Lewis Clark Valley in November, and the Düsseldorf, Germany boat show in January, 2011.
Guests were also treated to an introduction to and remarks from German visitors Paul Warren-Smith, U.S. Commercial Service Specialist, Frankfurt, Germany, and Klaus Schneiders, Editor-In-Chief, Skipper Magazine. Skipper Magazine is one of the leading boating magazines in Germany, and one of the premier magazines in the European Union. Mr. Schneiders spoke of his intentions of publishing two to three articles on the Lewis Clark Valley, including features on the Valley’s boat builders and local tourism. Program organizers expect significant benefits from Schneider’s articles, both for boat sales and tourist visits. Germany is the top producer of international visitors both to Washington State and the Lewis Clark Valley.
By Gary A. White, President, P’Chelle International
Unique Boat Export Program Kicks-Off
The Snake River Boat Builders Export Program (Lewiston, Idaho/Clarkston, Washington) kicked-off with resounding success the first week of June, 2010. Paul Warren-Smith, U.S. Commercial Service Specialist, Frankfurt, Germany and Klaus Emil Schneiders, Chief Editor, Skipper Boote Und Yachting magazine, Miesbach, Germany visited the participating welded-aluminum jet boat manufacturing companies. Warren-Smith was on a mission to become familiar with the companies and their products in preparation for a European boat buyers recruiting trip to the area this Autumn. Mr. Schneiders was researching for a series of articles to be published through late Summer and early Autumn. Skipper Boote Und Yachting magazine is one of the leading boat trade magazines in Europe.
The goal of the Snake River Boat Builders Export Program is to focus on one quality foreign market with outstanding potential for export success. That market is the European Union, with the focus on Germany. The success of the Export Program will contribute to positioning the Lewiston/Clarkston region as the “Jet Boat Capital of the World”.
Eight area boat manufacturers and one supplier are participating in the program. They areBentz Boats, Custom Weld Boats, Gateway Trailers, Hells Canyon Marine,Phantom Jet Boats, Renaissance Marine Group, SJX Jet Boats, Riddle Marine andThunder Jet. The program will continue with in-depth training on the various aspects of exporting, especially boats and to the European Union. The first week of November, an in-bound trade delegation of European boat buyers, primarily from Germany, recruited by Paul Warren-Smith, will visit the program participants in Lewiston/Clarkston. The program concludes in January, 2011 with the participating companies exhibiting in the Snake River Boat Builders Pavilion at boot Düsseldorf (Düsseldorf, Germany), the world’s leading international show for boating and water sports.
After meeting with company management, seeing the boats being manufactured and test driving them on the Snake and Clearwater Rivers, Warren-Smith and Schneiders concluded the boats provided a unique opportunity in the European market. European opportunities exist not only in the recreational market, but also in tour operations, law enforcement, military, search and rescue, fish and wildlife and environmental testing.
The Snake River Boat Builders Export Program is an excellent example of economic development entities working together to develop a manufacturing cluster. Those entities are the Clearwater Economic Development Association (CEDA), the Southeast Washington Economic Development Association (SEWEDA), Northwest Intermountain Manufacturers Association (NIMA), City of Lewiston, Port of Clarkston, Center of Excellence for Marine Manufacturing & Technology, City of Clarkston, Port of Lewiston, Asotin County, Nez Perce County, Clarkston Chamber of Commerce, Hells Canyon Visitors Bureau, U.S. Commercial Service/Spokane, United States Rural Development and Zions Bank.
THE MEDIA LOVES THE SNAKE RIVER BOAT BUILDERS EXPORT PROGRAM!
The following media have also covered the program: