Boating Industry

February 2014

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Open marina activities to everyone Host events Herrington Harbour, with two locations totaling 1,200 slips, hosts a variety of events, including dog swims, Independence Day celebrations, a St. Patty's Sock Burning Social, Memorial Day picnics and more. "We have a lot of social events that are free to our slip holders, so we go to great efforts to provide parties where it's free food and drinks," owner Steuart Chaney said. The parties are designed so marina users can meet each other, giving them added reasons to return to the docks. "I think events are really huge things at marinas, and it's sort of about creating that boating lifestyle and creating a community place where boaters want to go and spend their time," Townshend said. Marinas overall have been reporting that fewer people are leaving the docks, while more are spending time in their boat while it's still moored. P20x25-BI14FEB-MarinaSecrets.indd 23 Building a better marina "A marina needs to be more than a place to keep a boat. It needs to be a place where everybody can come and have fun, not only boat owners," said Bob Evans, manager of Dillon Marina in Dillon, Colo. When Evans was brought on board at the 296-slip marina, his primary task was to increase occupancy. To do so, Evans opened up on-site activities to customers, locals and tourists alike. Events that the marina has participated in include National Marina Day, a dog show, an air show, sunset sailing tours and championship regattas. At some events, nonboaters are welcome to ride boats for a small fee that goes to benefit a charity. The goal is to get them interested in boating, so they consider buying a boat and docking it at the marina. Evans has worked with area boat dealers to host in-water boat shows to make that a reality. "The thing we have at Dillon, it's kind of the jewel of the town. The only reason people come there really in the summer is because of the marina," Evans said. Offer valet service Oak Hill Marina provides a valet service to its marina patrons. Boaters who want to get on the water quickly call the dealership before arrival, and Oak Hill's courtesy crew gets the boat to the dock, fills it with gas if necessary and fills the onboard cooler with ice. "It just gives them more February 2014 | Boating Industry | 23 1/8/14 1:09 PM

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