Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
April 19, 2019
On April 16, 2019, Jim Frye, VP for Business Development at Westrec Marinas, provided Fernandina Beach City Commissioners with an overview of past, current and projected revenue at the city’s marina operations. Westrec manages the Fernandina Harbor Marina under a contract with the city.
Frye began his talk with a national overview of the impact of recreational boating on the economy. He also talked about the impact within Florida’s 4th Congressional District, which includes Fernandina Beach.
He said that one of the unique features of Fernandina Beach’s marina is its impact on the entire city. Using an economic indicator model developed by the University of Florida, Frye said that the total projection of 2020 impact (direct and indirect) of the marina reflects: 20 jobs, $1.6M GDP, and a million dollars in wages. He also presented a slide showing the amount of tax revenue the marina generates.
“It’s important for you to understand the value of the marina, not just to the people who use it, but to the entire city,” Frye said.
In addition to operating the city marina, Westrec aggressively markets its services and location. This activity has been severely hampered the past two years because of Hurricane Matthew-related damages that have in effect closed the marina to most traffic.
In turning to the marina financials, Frye addressed the current debt that the marina carries. He expressed his belief that should the ongoing repairs and rebuilding continue on schedule, the marina could become debt-free in ten years of full operation.
He expressed optimism that the marina will be even more vibrant once repairs have been completed. Continue reading