Interest high for rights to Waterside Marina

NORFOLK, Va. — With a five-year renewal agreement about to run out next month, Waterside Marina has a lot of people interested in running the 20-year old facility, the Virginian-Pilot reported in an article today.

The owner of the American Rover has expressed an interest in the marina, along with marina manager Mike Evans’ other potential competitors, Tidewater Yacht Marina and Ocean Marine Yacht Center.

Spirit Cruises, now a part of Sodexho Alliance, took part in a recent pre-bid conference held by the city, the newspaper reported.

The 32-slip marina has aged over the years, and whoever takes over the reigns of the facility will need to make improvements and consider expansion, with the city as a whole placing marine expansion high on the priority list, the Pilot stated.

The marina’s electrical system is outdated, and in not able to keep up with big yacht air conditioners. The hurricane also took a shot at the marina, and its floating docks rose to within inches of the top of its pilings, the newspaper said.

Though small in slip numbers, the marina generated $268,400 last year, of which the city received $40,000, and boasts the region’s longest public pier, which is capable of handling 400-foot vessels. Another advantage is that the marina has downtown access, which is appealing to boat owners, according to the Pilot.

Tidewater Yacht Marina has had its eyes on Waterside for a while, the newspaper reported. Though owner Gordon Shelton told the paper the marina needed upgrading, he was also present for the pre-bidding meeting. In addition, Ocean Marine was represented at the meeting.

The proposals are due by Tuesday, with a contract start date of January 1, according to the paper.

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