Summer rain dampens revenue by diminishing crowds at both Dillon Reservoir marinas

Dillon Marina sees 18% shortfall compared to anticipated revenue over summer

People enjoy an evening at the Dillon Reservoir Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022.
Liz Copan/Summit Daily News archive

Storms have kept wildfire risks at bay throughout the summer, but they also kept crowds at bay across Dillon Reservoir’s two marinas.

Managers at both marinas said weather this summer resulted in an increased number of refunds and reschedules for boat reservations.

“The rain is, obviously, not great for our revenue stream,” Dillon Marina Director Craig Simson said Aug. 16.

As of Aug. 2, revenues were down $110,491 — or 18.8% — from projections, and a staff report cited adverse weather and crowds’ reduced spending habits as causes.

Dillon Town Manager Nathan Johnson said Aug. 2 it was a little concerning and the town would keep an eye on it.

Simson wrote in his staff report that revenue was looking similar to 2019 levels. Frisco Bay Marina General Manager Logan Snyder also speculated that the bump in revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic was waning. Revenue at the marina in June more than doubled from 2019 to 2020, from $157,822 to $457,180, according to numbers provided by town of Frisco Spokesperson Vanessa Agee.

Frisco Bay Marina is seeing the same trend in terms of weather, Snyder said. Adverse weather has forced the marina to close early or put paddlecraft on a wind hold. Weather has definitely affected the number of people out on the lake and the marina’s revenue, he said. The marina usually reschedules reservations since most people still want to get out on the reservoir, he said, but the marina has had to refund some folks.

“From a slip holding and mooring standpoint, we absolutely love this,” Snyder added. Rains mean more water in the reservoir. It also results in a longer season than previously expected, according to reports from Denver Water.

So while the Frisco Bay Marina lost some rental revenue during the season, the marina could have more time to make up the difference since it can keep boats on the water longer.

The major storms could abate soon though, according to Simson’s forecast. The region should see a reprieve from the monsoonal flow and a return to typical afternoon showers driven by regional heating, he reported, meaning afternoon convection between 2 and 5 p.m. with dry cells producing lightning.

According to the National Weather Services’ Climate Prediction Center, precipitation will drop off slightly in central Colorado in the month of September, although the central Colorado region at large will lean slightly above average in terms of precipitation up to Sept. 1.

Denver Water expects the reservoir to remain close to its current water level through the next 30 days, Simson reported. The reservoir likely already hit its peak in June at 9,014.2 feet of surface elevation. That number is expected to drop to 8,995.6 in October, Simson reported.

When comparing this year’s revenue at the Frisco Bay Marina to previous years, July 2022 is actually the second-highest earning July over the past four years, beaten only by July 2020, which peaked at $622,646.

June revenue over the same four-year span peaked in 2020 as well at $457,180. This year’s June revenue topped out at $269,091, the second lowest over those four years.

Frisco Bay Marina’s 2022 year-to-date revenue was at $1.46 million as of Aug. 16 according to Agee. The marina forecast $2.23 million as its expected revenue in 2022. 

In addition to reduced revenue, the Dillon Marina also reported on Aug. 2 its operating costs were $105,464 higher than 2021 — an 18% increase. Payroll increases, budgeted staffing increases and the increased costs of fuels and supplies all contributed to the higher costs. 

Notably, Dillon Marina’s operating costs are only at 43.7% of the 2022 budget, while revenues are at 55.66%.

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