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Dillon Marina veteran to run Frisco Bay

JULIE SUTOR
summit daily news
Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk
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FRISCO ” The town of Frisco received applications from as far away as Hawaii in its search for a marina manager, but officials settled on a local last week when it came time for making the final cuts.

Phil Hofer, who has served as assistant manager of Dillon Marina for nine years, will be the new manager of Frisco Bay Marina, beginning Feb. 1.

“I’m extremely excited about the opportunity to start up a new business,” Hofer said. “The town of Frisco already has destination qualities, and we can expand on that, being another gem in their whole system over there.”

Hofer’s hiring is a major step in the town’s takeover of marina operations, since Osprey Adventures shipped out to Minnesota in the fall. Osprey’s Bernie and Elizabeth Baltich ran the marina the past 16 summers, but decided not to continue their work in Frisco after contract negotiations with the town broke down in September.

Town staff selected Hofer from a pool of 55 applicants after several rounds of interviews.

“Phil is going to be a great asset,” said assistant town manager Theresa Casey. “He knows the reservoir, the water issues, the people. He knows the boats and the business side of it.”

Customer service is high on Hofer’s to-do list.

“We need to create good customer relations for both the short term and long term. From there, you get word of mouth among locals and out-of-towners that it’s a fun place to go. The water issues take time and money, but you definitely want to get the customers,” Hofer said.

Hofer hopes locals will play a big role in building momentum for marina business.

“A lot of people who live in Summit County have never been out on the water, and that’s a shame. Because of the weather, it’s a really good training ground to learn a lot and take other places, like the San Juan Islands. If you’re a local, we’re going to make it easy for you to come out and give us a shot,” Hofer said.

One of Hofer’s biggest challenges will be to choreograph all the marina’s water-dependent activities in a place where water levels are undpendable. The Frisco Bay shoreline can recede hundreds of yards when Front Range water demands increase. Denver Water owns the reservoir.

“We’re going to have to develop a new system with the actual docks so we’re a little more flexible ” so we can chase the water and keep the docks going out when the water goes out,” Hofer said.

Hofer expects that his ties with Dillon Marina will foster a tighter relationship between the two operations.

“We’ll continue to share ideas and I’d like to develop the Frisco side as a destination for Dillon boaters. They can pull into a different slip, enjoy shopping and restaurants on Frisco’s Main Street and then come back. There could be a lot of synergy for both marinas and towns,” Hofer said.

Hofer will oversee as many as 12 staff and the creation of a new food and beverage operation ” tentatively called, “The Oasis.”

Town staff will soon search for a concessionaire to run the restaurant.

Julie Sutor can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or at jsutor@summitdaily.com.


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