Florida marinas modify their sales strategy

TAMPA, Fla. — The rackominium-dockominium concept has been put on hold at the Tampa Harbour Yacht Club, which is turning from sales to leases to stay afloat, the Tampa Bay Business Journal reported in a recent story.

The club — one in a network owned by Yacht Clubs of the Americas — recently decided not to close on any of its preliminary sales of wet slips and rackominiums.

“We initially had about 90 sales,” Jon Finstrom, president of YCOA, told the Business Journal. “Of these, for a variety of reasons, some couldn’t close and some wouldn’t. We made the decision not to close any and switch to rentals. We are still working through some issues with our lender, which has been a very good business partner.”

Other YCOA marinas include locations in Key West, Stuart and Naples, Fla.

At Tampa Harbour Yacht Club, YCOA has invested about $60 million to buy and upgrade the marina and a restaurant on the property, Finstrom said. The club has about 70 wet slips, called dockominiums, and dry storage for about 650 boats, called rackominiums.
Depending on the size and location, rackominiums prices start in the $100,000 range. Wet slips — dockominiums — are priced by the linear foot, with prices ranging from $7,250 to $10,000 per foot, according to the Business Journal.

“Obviously the economy is affecting us,” Finstrom said. “People are reluctant to pay $100,000 or more now with economic conditions. All of this is evolving as we speak. We’re working to finalize our plans and will be meeting with people who were to be buyers. We’re going to be a full-service facility and offer incentives. We have a new concept modifying the members-only criteria to allow people to use the club without having a boat.”

Loggerhead leases doing well
Seven Kings Holdings Inc., owner of the Loggerhead Club & Marina brand, has always leased slips and dry storage space. Loggerhead clubs offer reciprocal docking privileges and have club-like amenities.

The company, based in Jupiter, Fla., bought Nautico Marina in St. Petersburg several months ago and opened its first Loggerhead Club & Marina on Florida’s West Coast.

Nautico’s business model revolved around boaters purchasing space in a private marina. Loggerhead leases space and opened the marina to the public.

The company evaluated the two business models and determined that buying a slip or dry rack would cost more than leasing space, said Chris Cantwell, marketing director for Seven Kings, the newspaper reported.

“By the time you pay the mortgage, insurance and fees, the expense is greater than renting a slip,” Cantwell told the Business Journal. “Our research showed that sometimes monthly dues are greater than monthly rentals.”

About 65 percent of the 325 dry storage racks have been leased, while leasing of Loggerhead’s wet slips is proceeding slower, according to the newspaper.

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