Court gives marina developer thumbs up

LAKE PLEASANT, Ariz. – After much legal wrangling, the path has been cleared for construction of the $20-million Scorpion Bay Marina and Yacht Club, according to the article Wednesday in The Wickenburg Sun.

Lake Pleasant Marina Partners officials told the newspaper that construction on the 164-acre full-service marina development would begin immediately. The group’s attorney, Ron Messerly, confirmed that Arizona’s Superior Court, Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, as well as a federal court, have “rejected challenges to the construction process.”

Earlier reports suggested these challenges came primarily from Paradise Valley businessman David Maule-Ffinch and his Pensus Group, which owns the lake’s only marina, Pleasant Harbor Marina. They claim a second marina will overcrowd the lake, create environmental and safety hazards and cause the county to lose money in the long term.

Mark Ellerbrock of Skipper Marine Development, which is expected to build and operate the marina, told the newspaper, “Our plan is to develop a family friendly marina will all the amenities the boating public would find at any world class lakeside facility.” The company owns and operates 22 marine facilities across the country, including 15 marinas in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Mississippi, Florida and Ohio, according to the publication, as well as Skipper Bud’s boat retail stores.

The marina, which is being designed to serve a range of boaters, from owners of small fishing boats to large cruisers, is expected to attract an additional 200,000 boaters per year to Lake Pleasant. The marina and yacht club will feature a floating dock system with wave attenuation, boating accessories, convenience and deli stores, covered and uncovered boat slips, boat rentals, a tram system from the parking areas, dry-land boat storage and a launch ramp, among other things, the newspaper reported.

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