Finch and Chubb, marina to close

A pair of floods, gas prices that refuse to come down substantially, and the continuation of a depressed economy appear to have delivered the final blow to another Whitehall business.

Ray Faville, owner of Lock 12 Marina and Finch and Chubb Restaurant, confirmed Monday that he and his wife Linda were closing their doors on Oct. 15 and that both the restaurant and the marina would not be reopening in the spring.

“It’s all those factors together. The bottom line is I’m in business to make money and I haven’t been doing much of that the last three years,” Faville said.

“Linda and I have been here for 26 years. It’s a great community and we’ve met some great people. We have many faithful patrons and have made a lot of friends, but it’s been one thing after another.”

This year’s boating season was particularly disappointing, Faville said.

A prolonged period of flooding in the spring delayed the opening of theChamplainCanaland both local marinas. And when they finally opened, the boat traffic just wasn’t there.

At the time, Robert Elmy, owner of Champlain Harbor Marina, described the season as dismal.

“The seasonal boaters just aren’t here,” he said.

Those issues were compounded when Tropical Storm Irene moved through the area earlier this month.

AlthoughWhitehallavoided the brunt of the storm, high water levels caused the closure of theChamplainCanalfor several days and the loss of any money that could have been made from boaters passing though the area.

The Canal Corp.’s requirement to keep the locks open to ensure water didn’t overspill its banks in the canal also resulted in a torrent of water washing into Champlain Harbor which caused damage to docks at both marinas.

Faville also continues to contend that the Canal Corp. Visitor’s Center and the corresponding mooring wall have affected his business.

Even though the town no longer offers free electricity, Faville said the damage had already been done.

“Over the last eight years it has really hurt. I know the electricity is no longer on but it’s become lets go toWhitehalland go to the free wall,” he said. “Whitehalljust doesn’t need any more marinas.”

Higher gas prices have also left their mark, limiting the number of people who go boating and how far they travel.

Faville, for instance, said the amount of fuel he sells at the marina has dropped from 40,000 to 50,000 gallons a few years ago to as few as 10,000 gallons this year.

Business hasn’t been much better across the harbor.

Elmy said this year has been “almost too overwhelming, but the plan is to back in the spring.”

“Right now we are planning to re-open and to be a full service (marina),” Elmy said.

He said he understands many of the hardships Faville has been through, but hoped the closure could breed new life into his marina in much the same way the closing of Lowe’s did for Aubuchon Hardware in Ticonderoga.

“There might be enough business for one marina, but not two,” Elmy said.

Although the decline of Whitehall’s marina’s is nothing new, both Elmy and Faville said last fall they were unsure if they were going to be open this spring-the closure of Finch and Chubbs, a popular, local eatery was a little surprising, and points to a disturbing trend in the local economy.

In the past two months, Whitehall has seen a popular up and coming restaurant shut its doors on a full time basis less than a year after opening (Smokin’ on the Water), and just watched Aubuchon Hardware abruptly close its doors after 35 years in business. Not to mention that the Skyline facility in Fair Haven will shut its doors in approximately two weeks, leaving close to 75 people without jobs.

“The village, the town and the state really need to think about what’s going on in this community. Look at what’s happened to Linda and I, and we’re an established business that’s been for here for 26 years. Imagine how difficult it is if you’re starting a new business.”

Faville said the entire property-the restaurant, marina and inn-remains for sale, but regardless of whether it sells over the winter, the marina and the restaurant would not open next spring.

The couple will continue to serve dinners through Oct. 15 and will host an open house from10 a.m.to3 p.m.this Friday, Saturday and Sunday where they will sell some of the restaurants equipment and furnishings.

 

 

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Times in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Banner year for Whitehall RailRiders

Snowmobile club 1

By Dan King This year has been fantastic for the Whitehall RailRiders snowmobile club, in more ways than one. For […]

Granville MMA fighter to be featured on CNN

Prieur in ring

By Derek Liebig A Granville woman who has spent two-and-a-half years training in mixed martial arts will have her story […]

Students, faculty join to boost school spirit

DSC_0050

By Derek Liebig Granville Central School pride was alive and well, at least for one night, as students, faculty and […]

Boy Scout Troop 83 Moving Forward

Scouting 2

By Dan King Boy Scout Troop 83 in Whitehall is in a transition, but new scoutmaster Jason Ashline says he’s […]

WHS to host musical Friday and Saturday

Musical

Students at Whitehall High School will be performing a musical this weekend. March 6 and 7 at 7 p.m. each […]

Teacup auction

The Wells United Methodist Church will host a Giant Teacup Auction on Friday, March 13, at the Modern Woodman Hall […]

Solomon Northup reenactor in Salem

The Salem Courthouse Community Center, 25 East Broadway, continues its March Civil War series at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March […]

Village of Granville taxes to increase

By Derek Liebig A decrease in revenues will lead to a tax increase for village residents. The Granville Village Board […]

Ice fishing clinic at Carter’s Pond

Families who wish to learn the sport of ice fishing are welcome to attend a free ice fishing clinic taking […]

Granville man arrested for heroin

A Granville man is facing drug charges after he was found in possession of heroin and marijuana. Brian L. James, […]

Legault officially leaving in May

Liz Legault

By Dan King Whitehall Central School Superintendent Liz Legault will leave the district in May. Legault was officially introduced as […]

Bressette’s comeback falls short at states

DSC_0853

Whitehall/Fort Ann wrestler Josh Bressette was eliminated on day one of the State Wrestling Tournament in Albany last Friday, but […]