When you think Eastern Carolina you likely think about our waterways. When you think boating in the east, many think about Reggie Fountain.
He launched a billion dollar power boating business and drew in big names like both Presidents Bush.
"When I come back in my next life, if I have a choice, I'm coming back as Elvis," said Fountain as we visited him at his Beaufort County home.
The 73 year old king of offshore started young, but he moved up fast.
"I raced my first boat at 12 years old. Had my first boat at 14 years old," said Fountain.
Fountain says you have to dream big and he did. He earned a bachelors then law degree from UNC Chapel Hill. By 1979 he helped start a small boat business in an abandoned car dealership in Washington. Award after award Fountain won notoriety and set records:
"Right here on the Pamlico River in 2004 we set the world speed record at 177 miles an hour for a v-bottom," said Fountain.
Fountain said a roller coaster economy hit the brakes on the power boating industry soon after they hit the billion dollar mark.
No longer with the company still bearing his name, Fountain says he's proud to have pumped cash into the Beaufort County economy, but for now, the focus is building his son's business and maybe dabbling in the boating industry again . So with his dream achieved, how does Reggie Fountain spend his time?
He showed us one of his favorite guns.
"This thing will shoot 30 rounds in just a few seconds."
He's enjoying the things provided by the big dream that paid off, and keeping fit in a fully stocked gym at his home.
Fountain says after seeing how the boating industry recovers from the economic downturn, he may consider building a few more boats.
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