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Florida Lottery winner is all business

After the Big WinAfter the Big Win: Florida Lottery winner is all business
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Owns auto battery shops, plus Daniels driving range

Florida Lottery winner Jason Fry gets a charge out of business ownership.

Three years after collecting a $13.6 million, lump-sum jackpot payout, Fry has opened his second Batteries Plus franchise store — in Naples — and in September will debut a third in Bonita Springs.

He has also diversified, buying Golf World II in south Fort Myers. The renamed Daniels Driving Range & Teaching Center is open for business, and getting a slew of upgrades.

"This wasn't a money thing. I love the game of golf," said Fry, 37, a 15-handicap player.

Fry and Jim St. Germain, longtime golf instructor and Fry's business partner, see a greener future for the range.

Their vision is to not only provide a place for golfers to practice their swing, but to make it a family-friendly place and a magnet for time-starved players and folks who can't afford country club membership.

"We'll have customers we never had before," St. Germain said, as he showed a reporter the 1,300-square-foot putting green under development and the new grass tees.

Instead of numbered yardage signs, the range now sports pictures of wildlife: Drive that ball in the vicinity of the bulldog, and you've reached 75 yards. Make it to the polar bear, and you've powered it to 205 yards. It's a tip of the golfer's cap to the range's really young customers.

The range holds clinics for children as well as adults, and has four PGA professional instructors. The most recent hire: Earl Persinger, a certified Hank Haney assistant instructor. Haney is a former coach of Tiger Woods.

Mark Norden of south Fort Myers practices at the driving range almost daily, and takes a weekly lesson with St. Germain.

"It was kind of downtrodden before they took over," said Norden, who's 60. He also appreciates "the friendly people they've hired."

On the battery side, Fry said sales are up 30 percent since he purchased the south Fort Myers Batteries Plus in March 2009. For 2009, the store ranked No. 1 in sales nationally for the franchise, which has more than 500 stores.

Fry opened Batteries Plus across from Coastland Center in Naples last October. Next up: Batteries Plus at the Pelican Landing shopping center in Bonita Springs. In about a year, Fry hopes to open a battery store in Cape Coral — most likely along Pine Island Road.

During the economic downturn, "people are more cost-conscious. ... For example, Instead of buying a new phone, they're buying new batteries," Fry said, adding: "Our business is a need business, not a want."

When he can, though, Fry spends more time at the driving range than at a battery store. He does paperwork for Batteries Plus there, and coordinates marketing for the driving range.

"Then," he said, "I go out and hit range balls for an hour."

Lessons Learned

Jason Fry worked for three businesses, and got "zero sleep" before hitting a Florida Lottery jackpot in 2007.

Fry joined the ranks of employers when he bought a Batteries Plus franchise last year. Here are some things he's learned:

  • The owner of a private business makes the final decision. As a bartender at south Fort Myers' Stonewood Grill & Tavern, he took issues to the manager.
  • Treat employees with respect. Help them succeed. They will work harder, and are proud of their company. "I was proud of the food and great service at Stonewood; I was always out, talking about it," Fry said. "That's what I want with my employees."
  • Expect long days building a business: "I work 60-hour weeks."
  • Make time for the people you love. Fry is divorced, with joint custody of daughters ages 3 and 5. "When they're with me ... business doesn't come into play."

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Thanks to petergrfn for the tip.

News-Press

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11 comments. Last comment 4 years ago by grave.
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rdgrnr's avatar - walt
-Ridge Runner- Oracle of the Appalachians
Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
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Posted: August 1, 2010, 4:18 pm - IP Logged

Good story, nice to hear of a nice guy doing well with his winnings and remaining true to his conservative values.


                                             
                     
                                         

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                   

"The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                            --Edmund Burke

 

 

    Avatar

    United States
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    November 16, 2005
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    Posted: August 1, 2010, 4:28 pm - IP Logged

    Good story, nice to hear of a nice guy doing well with his winnings and remaining true to his conservative values.

    Yep, glad to hear he is enjoying himself and doing well with the money.    Working 60 hour weeks would be tough...but having your office at a driving range sounds pretty good to me...Almost as good as having your office at the corner booth of the local bar...Cheers

      johngreek's avatar - Lottery-023.jpg
      Patras,Achaia,Greece
      Greece
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      May 15, 2010
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      Posted: August 1, 2010, 5:14 pm - IP Logged

      working makes you enjoy the free leisure time.....if you sit ll day long its boring

        hearsetrax's avatar - 78638c467ef281febf24383e126f74b6

        United States
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        May 21, 2007
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        Posted: August 1, 2010, 6:12 pm - IP Logged

        Yep, glad to hear he is enjoying himself and doing well with the money.    Working 60 hour weeks would be tough...but having your office at a driving range sounds pretty good to me...Almost as good as having your office at the corner booth of the local bar...Cheers

        Yes Nod I'm glad to see this warming story ...

         

        but of all the interesting places one could put a "office"

        I can't think of a better place then some whar ya can empty of a clip and two of pellets and or live rounds without getting into trouble Naughty


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          Member #68713
          December 28, 2008
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          Posted: August 1, 2010, 8:14 pm - IP Logged

          Good story, nice to hear of a nice guy doing well with his winnings and remaining true to his conservative values.

          WHAT MAKE YOU THINK ,HE'S A CONSERVATIVE I KNOW LIBERALS AND MODERATES THAT WOULD DO THE SAME THING.Thumbs Up

            rdgrnr's avatar - walt
            -Ridge Runner- Oracle of the Appalachians
            Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
            United States
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            Posted: August 1, 2010, 8:32 pm - IP Logged

            WHAT MAKE YOU THINK ,HE'S A CONSERVATIVE I KNOW LIBERALS AND MODERATES THAT WOULD DO THE SAME THING.Thumbs Up

            conservative adj. 1. disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions etc., and to agree with gradual rather than abrupt change. 2. cautiously moderate. 3. traditional in style or manner; avoiding showiness.

            Conservative in the sense that he didn't run out and blow it all on booze, bling, hookers and drugs.

            He maintained his conservative values.


                                                         
                                 
                                                     

             

             

             

             

                                                                                                               

            "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                        --Edmund Burke

             

             

              jeffrey's avatar - moon
              Hamilton, OH
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              Posted: August 1, 2010, 10:31 pm - IP Logged

              conservative adj. 1. disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions etc., and to agree with gradual rather than abrupt change. 2. cautiously moderate. 3. traditional in style or manner; avoiding showiness.

              Conservative in the sense that he didn't run out and blow it all on booze, bling, hookers and drugs.

              He maintained his conservative values.

              I have to say smart, not stupid. Conservative would not have invested in new businesses in a depression. He would have bought gold and sat on it.Red Devil

                Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
                Chief Bottle Washer
                New Jersey
                United States
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                May 31, 2000
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                Posted: August 2, 2010, 1:44 am - IP Logged

                I have to say smart, not stupid. Conservative would not have invested in new businesses in a depression. He would have bought gold and sat on it.Red Devil

                Not to get further off-topic here, but it doesn't sound like you have any understanding of what a conservative thinks or does.

                 

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                  United States
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                  December 10, 2008
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                  Posted: August 2, 2010, 11:00 am - IP Logged

                  Conservative,Liberal,Moderate,Independant  who cares if  I WON the money I would pay off bills,invest,stash a lot  away  for emergency and  then take  a  little off the  top for travel,booze and  women!!!

                    barbos's avatar - gold bar-and-cash1.jpg
                    California
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                    October 17, 2005
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                    Posted: August 4, 2010, 5:51 pm - IP Logged

                    I have to say smart, not stupid. Conservative would not have invested in new businesses in a depression. He would have bought gold and sat on it.Red Devil

                      That's not a smart conservative step either. A lot of experts believe gold is overvalued and since I see too many commercials on the net offering to buy it - I share their belief.

                      Avatar
                      Norfolk,VA
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                      December 2, 2009
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                      Posted: August 8, 2010, 10:43 pm - IP Logged

                        That's not a smart conservative step either. A lot of experts believe gold is overvalued and since I see too many commercials on the net offering to buy it - I share their belief.

                      I Agree!

                      ''YOU CAN PAY FOR SCHOOL BUT, YOU CAN'T BUY CLASS''Thumbs Up