After being shut down for more than six years and multiple delays due to the recession and the BP oil spill, Hidden Harbor Marina is once again open for business.
“There were a lot of hurdles,” said Spencer Dunford, general manager of Hidden Harbor Marina. “There was the recession, and we didn’t know if all of the Gulf waters would be shut down because of the oil spill.”
The marina’s current owners bought the property in 2004. According to Dunford, the site was “dilapidated” prior to the renovations; the property sat vacant throughout the project.
The revamped marina, which can accommodate boats up to 40 feet, will give area boaters a new storage option within a rapidly crowded market due to rebounding boat sales in the wake of the recession.
Sarasota County marinas are, on average, about 90% to 95% full. This lack of storage space parallels a resurgent nationwide boat-sales market.
Hidden Harbor Marina, located on south U.S. 41 near Vamo Road, has several hundred indoor dry storage spots available for rent, along with outdoor options.
The marina’s concierge services will give boaters the option of calling ahead to put their boat in the water, gas it up and fill the ice box; engine flushing and cleaning services are available on return.
The marina will also have on-site boat sales and service, a ship’s store, and plans are in the works for a restaurant.
Freedom Boat Club will also operate from the marina.
“We want it to be a unique experience,” Dunford said. “It’s all about worry-free boating.”
It will take boaters about five minutes to reach the Intracoastal Waterway from Hidden Harbor, and Gulf access is 40 minutes away.
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