Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
January 1, 2021
Following discussion and concerns raised at the December 28, 2020 Fernandina Beach Marina Advisory Board (MAB) meeting, Oasis Marinas reconsidered its December 1 imposition of new rates for long term slip holders in the Fernandina Harbor Marina. Acknowledging that they “had missed the boat” in moving forward to make the city marina more financially sound without the proper communication to slip holders, Oasis notified Fernandina Beach Manager Dale Martin and City Commissioners of their decision to delay rate increases until April 1, 2021. In their letter dated December 31, 2020, Oasis Marinas CEO Dan Cowens reaffirmed the management company’s excitement to be in Fernandina Beach. Cowens wrote, “We want to be a long- term partner with this community as it moves on from the destruction of Hurricane Matthew and the disruption of Covid-19. Oasis Marinas looks forward to working with local officials, residents, and businesses to make Fernandina Harbor a desired destination for visitors. Oasis Marinas received strong support from the community as we began operations in December.”
In announcing their reconsideration of the timing of rate increases, Cowens wrote:
As 2020 sails over the horizon, Oasis Marinas, like so many others, wants a fresh start in 2021. As part of that 2021 re-set, Oasis Marinas will honor the rates in effect on December 1, 2020, for current slip holders through March 31, 2021. By that time, Oasis Marinas, with the assistance of the City, will have the amenities of the Fernandina Beach Harbor Marina fully restored, including fuel, a store, and enhanced Wi-Fi.
The challenge posed to Oasis Marinas by the City Commission was to restore the financial viability of the Fernandina Beach Harbor Marina. We believe that we can eventually assist the City and meet that challenge. Again, we are excited to be one of the newest downtown business residents. Oasis Marinas will soon produce a specialized publication to distribute throughout the region and elsewhere touting the beauty of this City. We will work with boaters, the City’s Marina Advisory Board, City staff, and the City Commission to warmly welcome visitors to Fernandina Beach and its shops, restaurants, and many other natural and historic attractions.
Oasis provides weekly reports to the City on activities and progress at the marina. The latest report dated December 27, 2020, appears below: