Frisco to update marina rental and storage rates in 2021
Changes are coming to the way Frisco will charge for boat rentals and slip bookings at the marina next year.
The town evaluates boat rental and storage rates on an annual basis to help keep up with financial demands and operational needs at the marina. Frisco Bay Marina General Manager Tom Hogeman and Guest Services Manager Jenn Shimp presented officials with recommendations to update the rates during a regular Frisco Town Council work session last week, and officials agreed to a number of alterations to be implemented in the spring as visitors make their way to the reservoir to boat, kayak and more.
Hogeman said rentals for power boats and paddle boats — like kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddleboards — were extremely popular this summer, often selling out on weekends and holidays. There was no rate increase from 2019 to 2020, but the marina will be applying a 7% to 10% rate increase across the board for rentals next year, along with an additional bump to weekend and holiday rates to account for growing demand.
The increase should mean a considerable rise in revenue for the town’s marina fund.
“We had an incredibly busy year,” Hogeman said. “… We brought in just over $1.5 million in revenue for power and paddle rental boats, which is approximately 60% of the marina’s total revenues. Increasing the rental boat rates … does have the potential to increase revenue by approximately $140,000 for next year. Given the fact that we were sold out of rental boats every weekend and holiday except when it was raining, staff is also proposing a 10% higher weekend and holiday rate.”
The town isn’t currently planning to raise rates for slips, moorings or on-land boat storage; however, officials are updating the way they will calculate fees. Storage rates are based off the registered length of a vessel: 48 cents per foot per day for seasonlong bookings at slips, 35 cents for moorings and 23 cents for dry storage. But next year, the marina will begin charging based on the actual measurement of boats.
When a boat arrives, marina staff will go out and measure it to decide on a fee. Hogeman said registered boat lengths vary depending on manufacturer and that boats often are a couple of feet longer than listed.
There was discussion to charge customers based on the measured length of their boats or the size of the slip they’re using, whichever was larger. But officials ultimately decided that sticking with the boat measurement would provide more consistency without punishing some boat owners for not being able to book a certain size slip.
“If I walked into Rocky Mountain (Coffee) Roasters, and they said, ‘We’re out of small cups. You have to buy a large cup,’ I would expect them to charge me for the small that I wanted,” council member Andrew Aerenson said. “… My view is customer service is still critical. We don’t need to milk every nickel out of every possible client. We need to make everyone happy in a reasonable pricing system.”
While the actual rates for boat storage won’t be changing this year, officials are likely to look at increases in the future as new capital improvement projects and amenities are implemented on-site. Frisco has more than $3.5 million budgeted for capital improvements out of the marina fund next year, including $1.5 million for a new office building.
“As we invest more out there — with the new building and figuring out the great lawn and getting the docks figured out — our rates are going to go up,” council member Rick Ihnken said. “I don’t know where we’re going to end up, but it needs to make financial sense to pay off the bonds and sustainably operate the marina going forward.”
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