Frisco Marina construction bad for business?
FRISCO – Town officials are hopeful construction at the Lakefront Park and Marina might be completed earlier than planned, but Frisco Marina concessionaire Bernie Baltich is apprehensive, nonetheless.
Business was down 80 percent in the month of June, Baltich told council members at a work session Tuesday, “and that’s not all because of the drought.”
“We were prepared for the drought,” he said. “What we did not figure out is what a wild card the construction would be.”
He told council members he estimates marina construction already has cost him $10,000 on top of his other losses. And he wants the town to compensate him for the effect the construction is having on his business.
The first phase of construction at the marina, which includes leveling the ground, paving parking areas and some infrastructure work, began earlier this month.
This summer’s dry weather might allow town officials to begin the second phase of work later this year. (Phase 2 includes building a boat turnaround, updating the boat ramp and installing boardwalk.) If construction can begin then, town officials said the park and marina could be completed by early next summer – a year earlier than originally planned.
And while Baltich acknowledges upgrades might ultimately help his business as marina concessionaire and owner of boat rental company Osprey Adventures, he also said that right now the construction – and the cones and barriers that go along with it – is wreaking havoc.
According to Baltich, business was below normal in May but dropped significantly when construction started in early June. Though construction workers have suggested the drop is due to the recession, Baltich said it’s no coincidence – there is no construction at the marina this week, due to the holiday, and it’s busy there now, he said.
Baltich said the drought alone has cost him approximately $25,000 more than his normal expenses this year, as he must shuttle customers to the water. He also said he has pared his staff from 36 employees to six and that he’s had to borrow money to sustain operations.
He suggested Tuesday the town compensate him in part by helping with fees and licensing.
But Baltich didn’t get much sympathy from town officials Tuesday. Councilmember Rick Amico told Baltich the improvements would ultimately improve business at the marina. And Councilmember David Amli noted that other businesses in the county also are suffering from the drought.
Mayor Bob Moscatelli told Baltich the council will discuss the matter once he submits a written request for compensation.
Lu Snyder can be reached at 970-668-3998 x203 or email@example.com
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