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Aug. 6, 2020
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Boating Atlanta moves

By Pamela A. Keene 
 
After 40 years in its location on Atlanta Highway in Buford, Boating Atlanta is moving to a brand-new built-from-the-ground-up store on Ga. 365 later this month. With 44,000 square feet, the store will include a new-boat showroom, service department, brokerage and parts department.
 
“Everything will be inside, air-conditioned and under one roof,” said Nathan Rhodes, who has owned the business since 2012. “We’ll have room for 60-plus boats inside, plus our service department will be state-of-the-art with the newest diagnostic technology.”
 
Boating Atlanta has a storied history on Lake Lanier. Founded by Mark Lusink in the early 1970s, (see related Shorelines article >>>), the store first opened on Holiday Road. It was one of the first boat dealers on Lake Lanier to move up from Atlanta. In 1980, the business moved to Buford Highway. Lusink sold Boating Atlanta to Nathan Rhodes eight years ago. Rhodes also owns N&C Marine in Martin, Georgia. 
 
With the widening of Atlanta Highway, the store lost a good portion of its front parking lot to road right-of-way.  “It was a good time to seek a new location,” Rhodes said. “We found this great 4.5-acre property and are very excited about moving this month. By moving north of Gainesville, we’re able to broaden our customer-service reach to serve Lake Rabun, Chatuge Lake, Seed Lake, Nottely Lake, Lake Tugalo and others. 
 
“Our move is also putting us much closer to the new Marine Technology curriculum at Lanier Technical College, which is filling a great need for boat mechanics in North Georgia and beyond,” said Rhodes, who is also president of the Metro Atlanta Marine Trade Association. “We’re supporting the program in as many ways as we can, including giving students part-time jobs and hands-on training here at our service department.”
 
Boating Atlanta represents a wide range of manufacturers: Skeeter, Caymas, Hurricane, Tidewater, Sea Hunt, Four Winns, Trifecta and Qwest. It is an authorized Yamaha dealer.
 
“We will have 10 employees in new sales with a combined 50 years of experience, so our staff at the new store can help customers with finding the right boat for their needs,” he said. “Boat sales continue to be brisk this year. Because of the pandemic, people are looking for ways to get outdoors and they’re buying boats, especially since they’re not able to take extended vacations this summer.”
 
The new Boating Atlanta store sits alongside Ga. 365 at 2932 Ramsey Rd. Info: 770 945-0316, www.boatingatlanta.net.

Posted online 7.30.20
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