Marine World owners to buy Mid-America Powersports

WICHITA — In July, Have You Heard? reported that Mid-America Powersports owner Ross Reed planned to close his business.

Then, within days, Reed said it looked like he may have opportunities to sell the business.

Now, that’s happening.

Marine World owners Nick and Nathan Blasi are buying the business.

“We felt it fit well with what we’re already doing,” says Nick Blasi.

Marine World sells watercraft and some power sports.

“We felt that it was our chance to own all the brands together,” Nick Blasi says.

Mid-America Powersports sells Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, KTM and Kymco.

“It’s such a unique business,” Nathan Blasi says. “You cannot duplicate that.”

He says Reed “just worked it out where it’s made a perfect marriage over time.”

Nathan Blasi says he and his brother were Reed’s customers while growing up.

“He has just built it over time.”

The Blasis are managing Mid-America Powersports until the deal closes. They plan to keep Marine World at 7979 W. Kellogg and Mid-America at 333 N. West St.

“We wanted to keep this business going because it is unique,” Nathan Blasi says. “It’s a destination-type store. It’s an awesome thing that he’s built.”

Nathan and Nick Blasi are buying their uncle Les Eck’s Marine World

Nathan (left) and Nick Blasi, who are buying their uncle Les Eck’s Marine World.

WICHITA — In 2010, Marine World owner Les Eck issued a challenge to his nephews Nathan and Nick Blasi, who began running the business for him in late 2008.

“I said, ‘The only way you’ll be a success at running this store is if you treat every dollar … as if you own the place,’” Eck says.

“We took that to heart,” Nathan Blasi says. “From there on, that set the stage.”

Now, the two are going to own the place. Their purchase of the business will be finalized soon.

Eck says he’s selling “because it’s family. Because everybody needs a break in life.”

“They’re very hard workers,” Eck says. “They’ve done a nice job. They’ve complemented each other well.”

Nathan Blasi worked for Eck’s Rusty Eck Ford for five years before moving to Marine World. Nick Blasi played professional baseball. He uses a sports analogy to explain the difference between him and his brother, who used to play football.

“So he played one day a week and got all jacked up,” Nick Blasi says. “I played every day of the week and had to be the same person.”

Nick Blasi is over Marine World’s service department and says he’s good at organization. Nathan Blasi is more outgoing and handles sales and finance.

“We fight just as much as we get along, but I think we’ve always known that we complement each other really well,” Nick Blasi says.

The brothers say they always knew they wanted to own a business together.

“It was just like a dream from when we were little,” Nathan Blasi says. “You need people that you can count on and trust. I know one person I can count on.”

They didn’t immediately know they wanted to own Marine World, which sells new and used boats, three-wheel motorcycles, ATVs, Sea-Doos, skis and life jackets.

“And then we fell in love with the business,” Nathan Blasi says. “There’s something about making people happy … with their toys.”

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Tracy’s Automotive owner Mike Ryno becomes a Tire Pros franchisee

WICHITA — Tracy’s Automotive owner Mike Ryno has purchased the former Marine World building to start a new Tire Pros franchise.

“We already do tires, we just want to get into it a little bit more,” Ryno says.

“If it’s on a car, we basically do it,” he says of his business.

Tracy’s is on the southwest corner of First and St. Francis. Ryno’s new building is on the southeast corner.

“We’re just getting it ready to use,” he says of the space. “We did a ton of cleaning and painting.”

Ryno says going with the Tire Pros franchise allows for several things, such as new warranties.

“We get some better pricing on some tires, and we’re able to give better discounts because of that,” he says.

Look for Ryno’s new business to open in about a month.

Marine World to move to its own site on West Kellogg

WICHITA — Les Eck is moving his Marine World from Rusty Eck Ford on East Kellogg to its own space at 7979 W. Kellogg.

“You know the ironic thing about 7979 West Kellogg?” Eck says. “I used to wash cars there in the 1970s.”

His father, Rusty, had a used car lot there.

“That same damn building was there till I razed it last week,” Eck says.

He says he didn’t even do a walk-through before razing it because it was a junky building even in the 1970s.

Eck is moving Marine World, which sells new and used boats, wakeboards and accessories, for two reasons.

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