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IMBC 2012: Survey shows ‘new normal’ for marinas

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Association of Marina Industries' second annual industry update was a mixed bag, with some metrics suggesting business may be improving, some that it still is slogging along, and others suggesting that business finally is stabilizing.

“One of the things we’re trying to do is find out what the new normal is going to be,” said Kirby Scheimann, Southeast regional manager for Marinas International, at an industry update Thursday at the International Marina & Boatyard Conference in Orlando, Fla.

He said many marinas and boatyards were reporting that the 2011 metrics were about the same for them as in 2010. He said that may be about as good as we can expect in the post-recession “new normal.”

Based on about 200 responses to an AMI member survey, 45 percent of the respondents had 75 percent slip occupancy last year when they filled out the survey, 29 percent had 100 percent occupancy, 19 percent had 50 percent, and 6 percent had less than 50 percent. Rounded off, 22 percent reported wet slip revenue up, 39 percent down and 40 percent about the same as the previous year.

For dry-stack revenues, 28 percent reported an increase, 26 percent a decline and 47 percent no change from 2010.

Winter storage revenues: 22 percent said they were up, 31 said they were down, and 47 said they were about the same.

Transient slip revenues: 22 percent reported an increase, 31 reported a decrease, and 47 said they were the same.

Service and repair: 36 percent reported revenues were up, 26 reported they were down, and 38 percent said they were about the same.

Restaurant revenues: 31 percent said they were up, 30 percent said down, and 39 percent said about the same.

In the ships store, 20 percent reported revenue up, 35 reported it down, and 45 percent reported no change.

The amount of the increases and decreases seemed to differ by region, AMI president Jim Frye said. He said the regional breakdown would be available later.

Twelve percent of respondents said they charged lower wet slip rates in 2011 than the year before, 5 percent charged lower dry stack rates, and 7.5 percent dropped transient slip rates. Twenty four percent cut their fuel margins, and 4 percent said they cut prices in their ships store.

Ten percent of the marinas said they increased their number of full-time employees in 2011; 23 percent said they reduced full-time employees. Thirty-six percent said they raised the wage rate of full-time employees, 2 percent said they reduced wage rates, and 62 percent said they stayed the same.

Scheimann doubted there was a lot of employee disgruntlement, despite mostly stagnant wages. “In this world, you’re just happy you’ve got a job,” he said.

— Jim Flannery

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