Changes are on the way at the Whitehall Marina.
Robert Elmy and his wife, Tricia, are the new managers at the site, while former manager Rick Broderick has moved on to run a marina on Lake Bomoseen.
“I got involved with this marina about five years ago,” said Elmy. “They have done a wonderful job developing this place, and now it is time for us to try and take the next step.”
Elmy moved to Whitehall from Sarasota, Fla., and is currently staying in the trailer park that he also now manages.
“We are our best customers so far,” said Elmy.
Elmy said they have already started to plan for the marina, including the Sea Harbour Tavern.
“We are looking forward to the tavern becoming a major attraction for the place,” said Elmy. “With the economy right now, the boaters are a bit reluctant and we have not seen as many, but we are encouraged by the clientele that we have coming to the tavern for dinner.”
Elmy said while some people know about the services that the marina offers and the tavern, his goal is to get more exposure.
“Our goal is to become better known,” said Elmy. “The tavern is two years old now and we want to start expanding on that by having entertainment here on Fridays and Saturdays and open our doors seven days a week and also open during the week for lunches.”
Elmy said the main goal is to increase the entertainment value at the marina in order to attract more customers, including those who may not be coming for the boating.
“What we are going to do is increase the entertainment that we have,” he said. “We are looking to bring in a pool table and video games. We want to have this place be somewhere that families can come and enjoy a meal and hang out.”
Along with bringing a broader range of customer to the marina, Elmy said they will continue to offer services to boaters through their parts and service department.
“That department is a big part of the marina and it has helped us through the tough times,” said Elmy. “With the way things are, not too many people are buying new boats. People are looking to fix up their old boats and we have been able to benefit from that.”
Elmy said the marina will still offer full services to those who stop in on their way either into or out of the Champlain Canal system.
“We have eight dock spaces for transient boaters,” said Elmy. “We would love to see those filled every night, but that is something that we do not have any control over.”
Elmy said he was looking forward to the events coming up over the summer, including the LCI Fishing Derby this weekend and other events planned around fishing and the quadracentennial celebrations, including the flotilla of 25 tugboats that will call the marina their home on June 27 and 28.
“There is a lot coming up, and we are also looking forward to the first couple of weeks in July when we get a bump in traffic from Canadian boaters,” Elmy said.
Overall, Elmy said, he hopes to keep the marina a vibrant part of Whitehall’s economy.
“This is something that I feel needs to be developed in the community and to keep jobs here in Whitehall and that’s our purpose,” said Elmy. “I decided to come in and manage here because we didn’t want to lose jobs here. We want to keep it open and the economy should start picking up. If we have people continue to come to the tavern and use the parts and services department, then we should still be here.”