Bellport chairman on marina acquisition path

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – Bellport Chairman Richard S. Stevens has formed Waterfront Investors, LP to acquire marinas throughout the United States, The Bellport Group, a Newport Beach, Calif.-based marina management and service company, reported in a statement today.

The new multi-million dollar fund will be seeking to buy marinas that may need additional capital for expansion or reconstruction, according to Stevens. The partnership has established a relationship with other major funds and iCap Reality Services of Atlanta, Ga., who funded 250 million dollars in loans in 2002.

“These relationships enable our partnership to custom tailor acquisitions to fund acquisitions to about 100 million dollars,” now and even larger in the coming year, said Stevens.

Bellport to be preferred operator

Stevens, who remains as chairman of Bellport, stated that Bellport will be a preferred operator of all marinas acquired by the new partnership located in areas Bellport can provide quality operational management.

“Bellport is similar in its business plan to Hilton Hotels in that Bellport will operate but not own the facilities that it manages,” said Joe Ueberroth, president and co-founder with Stevens of Bellport. “This enables Bellport to focus on business efficiency and achieve outstanding financial results.”

“We are already aggressively pursuing investment opportunities in several geographic areas including California, the Pacific Northwest, Florida and the Southeast,” added Stevens.

A team of marina executives

Dick Stevens, a veteran marina executive, has experience in the development, ownership and operation of recreational facilities including the Balboa Bay Club, Newport Beach, Calif.; Marina City Club, marina and apartments, Marina del Rey, Calif.; the Disneyland Hotel, Queen Mary & Spruce Goose; the Jockey Club Marina & condos in Miami, Fla., and the 500 million dollar Fisher Island Club Marina & condos in Miami Beach, according to Bellport.

Joining Waterfront Investors as president is Paul Penrose, who was a long-term managing partner of Peat Marwick & Mitchell and has recently specialized in investment opportunities for sophisticated investors, Bellport stated.

Joining Stevens and Penrose as advisory board members are Bill Ficker, architect and world famous sailor who won the Americas Cup, Congressional Cup and was world champion Star Boat Skipper. Also appointed to the board is John Corrough, marina consultant who has completed over 500 marina studies in 40 states plus numerous international assignments, and marina engineering expert, Randy Mason of Cash & Associates. Rounding out the current board is Bellingham Marine.

Also assisting the new fund is Jim Foley, owner of Marinas for Sale, based in Boston; Tom Duncan of Clearwater, Fla.; Mike Lairsen, Dallas, Texas; and Dave Garrett located in the Pacific Northwest, each specializing in locating quality acquisitions for Waterfront Investors.

“The combination of the capital available to Waterfront Investors and its financial partners and the operational expertise of Bellport create a wonderful vehicle for the next generation of our growing and changing industry,” Stevens stated.

According to Paul Penrose, “The fund is interested in buying marinas that need capital for expansion or reconfiguration or as part of an exit strategy for their owners.”

Waterfront Investment headquarters are located in the Bellport corporate offices at 101 Shipyard Way, Newport Beach, Calif.

Bellport presently operates marinas in Texas, California, Mexico and Japan, offering additional services such as planning, construction supervision and international marketing.

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