Summit County marinas ending season with a bang |

Summit County marinas ending season with a bang

Kathryn Corazzelli
Summit Daily News
Summit Daily/Mark Fox

Despite a slow start to this year’s boating season due to chilly weather and, in some cases, lowered water levels, Summit County marinas are reporting a pretty good summer.

“Business was a little bit slow in June because it was snowing,” Dillon marina manager Bob Evans said. “It was hard to get people psyched for summer, but once it came, people were ecstatic. They came in droves once the weather got nice.”

While June proved to be a little lethargic, July and August were pretty good. September was even better: Dillon marina did twice the business this past Labor Day compared to 2010.

“We started with a fizzle because it was wet, and now we’re finishing up with a bang,” Evans said. “People are keeping their boats in a little bit later to make up for the bad weather last spring.”

Another factor: the recently finished $2.5 million expansion project. People wanted to check it out, and that could have upped visitation, Evans said.

Lowered water levels at the end of May and early June weren’t factors in Dillon’s slow start – the marina’s launch ramp was up and running May 27.

Denver Water reduced reservoir levels significantly in preparation for spring runoff, which was heavy this year because of deep snowpack.

The town expects 2011 revenues to exceed budgeted numbers by about $17,000. But, compared to 2010, those numbers are down almost $32,000. This year’s marina budget was reduced due to an unsure economy.

Dillon budgeted for $968,870 in revenues, and expects to see $986,048. Last year’s totaled $1,018,020.

“We are down for the summer, but because September has been such a phenomenal month, we anticipate making up for some of those lost revenues,” Dillon treasurer Carri McDonnell said.

Over at the Frisco Bay Marina, the combination of low-water levels and chilly weather led to a slow June, but July and August made up for it. Most of the business was condensed into those two months, with rental numbers exceeding those of last year. Boat rentals in July and August are expected to set a record this year.

Reservoir levels caused full marina operations to lag behind two or three weeks (a full opening is usually planned for Memorial Day Weekend).

“Despite the slow start and low water levels through mid-June, most of our 2011 marina revenues are on pace to meet or beat the 2011 budgeted totals, as well as the summer 2010 revenues,” said Chad Most, the town’s revenue specialist.

But the numbers, like Dillon’s, are tricky: While the town had budgeted for $867,042 in revenues, they are projecting about $847,000 – about $20,000 short. A $117,000 Motorboat Colorado! grant from the Colorado Division of Wildlife was expected and written into the budget, but never came through. Without that grant funding in the mix, the town would have been about $100,000 over what they budgeted. Last year’s revenues were $851,359 with $36,000 in funds from that same grant.

At the Heeney Marina at the Green Mountain Reservoir, owner Don Abbott reports business really picking up around the Fourth of July weekend:

“June was way down, almost non-existent,” he said. In keeping with Dillon and Frisco’s business levels, the Heeney Marina had more customers this July and August than in 2010.

“It was a short season, but busy.”

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