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Marina operator terminating contract with Florida city

The company charged with running the Lake Okeechobee Outpost marina in Pahokee, Fla., a newly renovated marina and campground, announced it will shut its doors next month, saying a federal construction project to rehabilitate the dike around Lake Okeechobee, coupled with other issues, left no other option.

Seven Kings Holdings said it is in the process of terminating its contract with the city, and by the end of January it will no longer be operating the marina and its restaurant, cabins and campground, the Palm Beach Post reported.

Raymond Graziotto, Seven Kings’ president and chief operating officer, said construction on the Herbert Hoover Dike has prevented his company from expanding the campground and that low water levels this year have made it difficult for boaters to reach the marina.

“We have been beating our heads out there against the wall really trying to make it a successful place,” Graziotto told the newspaper. “We have been faced with all kinds of things we couldn't anticipate. At this point, we said we just can't continue to fund this.”

The federal construction project is part of a $500 million effort to rehabilitate the dike after a 2006 report found that it was in danger of failing during a storm. Construction in the Pahokee area is scheduled to continue until May 2013, officials with the Army Corps of Engineers said.

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