Reopening of Ranta Marina 'fantastic news' (Amherstburg)
The Windsor Star/Mary Caton
Ranta Marina is officially back in the boating business.
Amherstburg resident Mike Meloche plans to open it the first weekend of May after reaching a lease agreement with the facility’s Toronto ownership group last week.
Unofficially, the launch ramps were well used last summer and the summer before as boaters took advantage of free access to local waterways. Some even left their vessels in the slips despite the fact the marina was technically closed with no visible security in place.
Under terms of the five-year agreement, Meloche said the owners are taking the 13-acre parcel off the market.
The marina went up for sale in January 2016 with an asking price of $1.9 million. It had been closed since the previous co-owners fell behind on mortgage payments and opted to simply walk away in May 2015.
At the time, a number of boaters complained they had already paid slip deposits of $500 or seasonal fees of $2,500.
Meloche already has 30 of the marina’s 104 slips rented for the upcoming season.
“I’ve had a lot of return boaters and new customers,” he said. “We’re expecting a good turnout.”
Rental rates are $45 per foot. He’s also offering daily and seasonal ramp fees.
With the tanks and pumps still in place, Meloche also plans to sell gasoline.
The structure that housed a restaurant is being dismantled. Meloche will either offer a concession stand or food truck in its place.
A full-time mechanic and part-time instructor at St. Clair College, Meloche has experience in the business, having managed Bru Mon Harbour Marina in Amherstburg for several years until it changed hands last year.
“I started looking around for something else,” Meloche said.
He said the property’s hydro should be restored by next month and there are plans to offer Wi-Fi Internet.
The mortgage holders are in the process of clearing up overdue taxes with the town.
Amherstburg Mayor Aldo DiCarlo calls it “fantastic news. It was a useful marina sitting idle that is now going to be rejuvenated.”
DiCarlo said Ranta’s reopening should not affect the town’s concept plans for a small transient marina on the site of the former Duffy’s Tavern and Motor Inn.
“The goal is not to really compete with other marinas,” DiCarlo said. “As I understand it, Bru Mon had a waiting list so I really think we’re filling a need. There should be no issue of competition. It would seem there’s enough there for everybody.”
Anyone interested in renting a slip or seasonal ramp pass should contact Meloche at 519-566-4980.