How's Biz

By Beau Denton January 28, 2014

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Ken Powell

Regional Manager, Pope Golf, LLC

“Pope Golf manages eight golf courses in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties. Memberships are down because of an aging population and the economy, and a lot of member-owned clubs are turning to professional management like ours.

“Through sound management practices, marketing and bringing in limited non-member golf, we’ve turned around a lot of operations. We have a large database of local golfers—in the tens of thousands.

“At the two Manatee County municipal courses we manage, we approached nearly 100,000 rounds of golf in 2013, a little better than 2012, even though the unseasonably rainy summer rain affected us.

“Bent Tree has been a big success story. It was  about to close when we took it over five years ago. We redid the greens, renovated the clubhouse and stabilized the financial picture.”


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Marie Laforge

Co-owner, Mango Bistro

“Business has improved every year since we opened on Dearborn Street in Englewood in March 2008. We get a lot of support from the locals, and a lot of tourists, too. Road construction lately has made things difficult—Dearborn Street is becoming the first ‘low impact development,’ or green, street in Florida—but it’s for the good in the long run.

“I started the farmers market here three years ago. It brings thousands of people here every week from Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, Venice. I’m also events coordinator for the Olde Englewood Village Association. Five thousand people attended our Halloween safe walk. We do a fine art show every December that’s very popular, too, and an antique show the first Saturday of each month year-round. We’re going to add more events next year.”


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Darrin Chrisman

Brand Manager, Lamborghini Sarasota

“Lamborghini sales in the U.S. are up 6 percent year over year; we’re up 76 percent. It’s a combination of factors: the economy is recovering, our market covers a big territory from Tampa to Naples, and we have expanded our operation to offer significantly more used Lamborghinis and pre-owned Ferraris, Bentleys and Aston Martins.

“About 40 percent to 45 percent of our business comes from Sarasota; Naples is the second strongest market. Our clients range in age from 19 to the mid-60s; they’re typically about 90 percent men, but we do have several female clients.  Lamborghini offers two models, the Gallardo, at an average sale price of $230,000; and the Aventador, at an average sale price of $460,000. In 2013 we sold every new Lamborghini we were able to get hold of—15 of them. It’s not an issue of demand, it’s an issue of supply.”


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