February 19 2018
Mercury Marine, the world leader in marine propulsion, is reviving a piece of its history as the company has agreed to lease the property at Lake X in Central Florida. Lake X, a pillar of Mercury’s heritage, was designed and built by Mercury Marine Founder E. Carl Kiekhaefer in 1957 and later sold to the Kirchman Foundation, who still owns the property today. The facility was designed to be the most secluded marine testing facility in the world with 12,000 acres of land and 1,440 acres of water at Lake Conlin.
“Mercury Marine is closing in on its 80th anniversary (in 2019) and we have a rich heritage that is unmatched in the marine industry,” said Michelle Dauchy, Mercury Marine chief marketing officer to Yachting Art Magazine. “Returning to Lake X is an opportunity to build an immersive brand experience around that heritage and capitalize on the popularity of the Mercury brand. We have been able to host customer and media events as well as take advantage of the lake to test product.”
The location, based in Osceola County, Florida, is roughly three miles long, one-mile wide and nearly six miles in circumference. Lake X was long used for performance tests of Mercury-powered boats, R&D, new product testing and endurance validation. Mercury Marine occupied Lake X until 2004 when it chose to not renew its lease.
The secluded freshwater lake is also known for one of Mercury’s most famous PR events that took place in 1957 where a 50,000-mile endurance run, featuring two boats running continuously on a closed 5.8-mile course, 24 hours a day, seven days a week made marine industry history.
“We hear stories all the time about folks who worked for Mr. Kiekhaefer and their wonderful experiences at Lake X,” said Dauchy. “We want to create new memories and build on our heritage of performance, reliability and to merge together our new Go Boldly brand cache with almost 80 years of history.