Due to the poor economic conditions over the past 6 years and the inability to renegotiate a new lease that Hipp Marine could afford at the now "new normal" level of the boating industry, my wife and I had to make the very difficult decision to close Hipp Marine after 28 years in the boating business and serving the community.
We started the business 28 years ago with $8,000 dollars in the bank and a dream to work together. That dream has lasted 28 years and even though the last 6 years has put us personally in major debt (hundreds of thousands of dollars) but we leave with a warm heart knowing that Hipp Marine played a major part in many of our employee's lives. By providing employment for them, they were able to start families, buy homes, cars and provide for their own families. Over 20 kids have been born while one of their parents have been employed at Hipp Marine and some of these kids, including our own, have since graduated from high schools and college.
To our employees: I cannot say thank you enough! It is YOU that built Hipp Marine to the high standards that our customers and suppliers have grown to expect, count on and appreciate. THANK YOU!
To our customers: Without you, the business would not exist! Without your business our employees would not have been employed at Hipp Marine and you would not have enjoyed the wonderful service they provided. We appreciate your patronage and truly appreciate the relationships and friendships we gained along the way. Even our customers who felt we may have fallen short on providing great service, or we agreed to disagree, we always treated you with dignity and respect.
To our suppliers: We appreciate having had the opportunity to do business with you with an honest and straight forward approach.
To our largest supplier: Brunswick Corporation, Maxum, Kayot, Sea Pro, Trophy, Harris Flotbote, Bayliner, Sea Ray, Mercury and Mercruiser, thank you for hanging in with us for all the years.
While one door closes, another one opens! As sad as it is to close Hipp Marine's doors, we look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead.
For those of you who are thinking of starting your own business, "Never let the fear of striking out stop you from playing in the game of life". Go for it!
One more quote I kept in my office to help me keep my priorities in order:
Priorities: A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the sort of car I drove¿.But the world may be better because I was important in the life of a child"
THANK YOU !