Being hundreds of miles away from the ocean didn't stop Dillon Marina from gaining recognition as being one of the best in the country. Marina Dock Age magazine, a nationally recognized trade publication, recently named Dillon Marina as its Marina of the Year in the large category.
To earn the distinction, marinas must go through a long application process and are judged under 10 categories, such as facility improvements, customer satisfaction, environmental responsibility and more.
"I think we've got a lot going on and Bob Evans, our marina manager, is excellent and strives for excellence," said Susan Fairweather, director of economic development, marketing and communications in Dillon. "This certainly speaks to his commitment, as well as the town's commitment."
This marks the first time the Dillon Marina has won this award, though not for lack of trying. Evans said he has applied for the award for the past five or six years. While he feels that the recent improvements made to the marina have helped win the award, he also said it's more than that.
"It's not doing one thing well, it's doing everything well. That's what it takes to win this award," he said.
Evans likens Dillon Marina's win to that of a movie winning Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
"Everything has to be top notch or you don't win," he said. "It's based on all the players on the team. There are a lot of people behind the scenes. It's not just the marina, it's the town and all the help that the marina gets from all the departments. You couldn't just do it by yourself. You gotta have everything right."
The marina, which dates back nearly 40 years, has 260 long-term slips and 36 short-term slips, making it a "large" marina at more than 250 slips. Evans estimates only about 10 percent of the nation's marinas are considered large and many of those are along the coast. Dillon Marina occupies a 56-acre footprint with more than 6,000 feet of docks. In 2012, more than 55,000 guests visited the marina. Improvements to the marina, including the parking lot, longer ramps and utility lines, will continue in the spring.
"We're looking forward to an exciting year," Evans said.