By Ron Giofu
Ranta Marina will officially be back in operation for the 2017 boating season.
The marina, which had been for sale, will instead be leased with Mike Meloche being the person to reach an agreement with the investment group out of Toronto that owns the Front Road North facility.
“We finally reached a deal,” said Meloche. “I’ve been in talks with them for about four months. I’ve leased it for a five-year term. They are going to take it off the market for the five-year term.”
According to Meloche, the marina may go back on the market at that point but he would have first right of refusal. But for the next five years, it will be a lease arrangement.
“It’s a pretty long-term deal,” said Meloche. “It’s in my hands for five solid years.”
Meloche said they plan to open the first week in May. He admits they have gotten off to a late start this year but estimates approximately two-thirds of their target has been reached. The plan is to fill all 104 slips in 2018.
“We’re probably getting a couple of customers calling every day for wells,” said Meloche. “We’ve got quite a few returning customers.”
Meloche, who helped run Bru Mon marina for several years until it was sold, said the plans call for the dismantling of the restaurant structure that was there and offer either a food truck or small concession stand for boaters. He said there won’t be a restaurant there serving liquor.
“It’s going to open as a marina and renting wells,” he said, adding gasoline sales for boats will also occur.
The marina will be run by Meloche, his wife and their two daughters initially as he is not sure yet the plan for employees. He called 2017 a “break-even year” and said he is “very excited” to get it officially re-open. Meloche added he lives close to the marina and saw it fall to its lowest depths in recent years.
The marina was formerly owned by the town but was sold in 2009 for $584,000, a figure that outraged people at the time. The mortgage holders took possession of the property in 2015 with it being put up for sale in early 2016. Boaters could still be seen using the facility in the last couple of years, despite the fact it was not officially open.
Despite the uncertainty in recent years, Meloche said the 13-acre site has held up well.
“The overall facility is in fairly decent shape,” said Meloche. “The washrooms, showers and pool are in good shape. The docks are in very good shape. It will be up and running shortly.”
Ranta Marina has nice views for boaters, Meloche added, and he hopes to offer Wi-Fi Internet service to boaters as well. He also hopes to attract transient boaters to the marina.
Rental rates will be $45 per foot, he added, slightly less than what it was when it closed.
For more information or to obtain a well or ramp pass, Meloche can be reached by calling 519-566-4980.