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Boat sales jump on memorial day.

Boat sales at Bradford Marine's four stores jumped by 17 percent on Memorial Day weekend (May 27-29), compared with the same holiday weekend in 2005.

"Memorial Day weekend was the best companywide in our 35 years in business," said Lev Bradford, whose father, Knox Bradford of Pine Bluff, started the company when he was 23 years old.

"I'm expecting the Fourth of July weekend to be just as big if not bigger," Lev Bradford said.

Bradford Marine has boat dealerships in North Little Rock, Springdale, Hot Springs and Texarkana, Texas. The company is the world's largest Tracker dealer, selling Sun Tracker pontoon boats, Tahoe deck boats and Bass Tracker aluminum fishing boats.

Lev Bradford said spring rains helped raise the level of Beaver Lake and increase sales at the Springdale store, which stocks more than 100 boats. Beaver Lake was 15 feet below normal during the winter. It's still about 8 feet low.

"I think the lake has been down for two or three years," Lev Bradford said. "I don't think it's been at full pool for two or three years."

A total of 370 new boats are listed on the Bradford Marine Web site with prices ranging from $1,500-$33,000 each.
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Title Annotation:NW Journal: A Look at News From Northwest Arkansas
Author:Bowden, Bill
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Jun 19, 2006
Words:204
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