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"Unfortunately, that seems to be the trend," said former longtime Lake Fenton Marina owner Pete Matta Sr. "The value of lakefront property has really shot up over the last 10-15 years.I guess the marina operators are looking at it today (as), 'Why am I doing this?' A marina's a tough business.You just don't sit back and make money." Now called Skipper Bud's Lake Fenton Marina, the Fenton Road business that Matta sold a year ago has rented all but two of its 120 boat slips.
said almost all the slips there have been rented for years. "I don't believe there's less of a demand (for slips)," said Matta, a director emeritus of the Michigan Boating Industries Association.
H20Notes - Newsletter
Livonia, Mich, December 14, 2005 -- Pete Matta, retired President and owner of Lake Fenton Marina in Lake Fenton, Michigan, was inducted into the Michigan Boating Industries Association (MBIA) Hall of Fame for the year 2005.Pete was honored at a dinner reception held during the 2005 Recreational Boating Educational Conference (RBEC), December 7-9 at the Radisson Plaza Hotel & Suites in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Mr. Matta has been determined by the MBIA Board of Directors to be an outstanding contributor to the recreational boating industry in Michigan.He
is being recognized for his
dedication and personal efforts in support of the association's goals and objectives, as well as his
extensive service on the MBIA Board of Directors and various committees.Matta
received a recognition plaque and his
name will be added to the Hall of Fame recognition wall at the MBIA's
office in Livonia, MI.
MBIA Newsletters - Newsletter
At their December 8 - 10 Recreational Boating Educational Conference at the Grand Traverse Resort in Traverse City, Michigan, the association announced the first six recipients for 2004: Mr. Steve Remias of MacRay Harbour, Harrison Township, Michigan; Mr. Chuck Pistis of Michigan Sea Grant, and Mr. Jeff Spencer from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality; Mr. Pete Matta, owner of Lake Fenton Marina in Fenton, MI and Director of MBIA; Dr. Ed Mahoney from Michigan State University and Co-Director of the Recreational Marine Research Center; and the Callewaert family who own and operate Ryba's Fudge Shops and the Island House Hotel among other businesses on Mackinac Island, Michigan.
...· Pete Matta, a Director of MBIA, received a Lighthouse Award for his tremendous efforts and dedication to the association's Government Relations and legislative efforts.He
worked extensively on dealer/manufacturer legislation.
But now that construction of a boat storage facility is being planned by Lake Fenton Marina owner Pete Matta, the Parnells and other nearby residents are not happy.
said the building will be constructed even if the requested variance is not approved.
"We can still build this without a variance," he
According to the Parnells, an ongoing battle has existed between many of the neighbors and the marina owner for many years regarding the use of the property, and Matta
was fined many times for storing boats on the property until it was properly rezoned for storage. She
said the property owners opposed the rezoning 100 percent and when approval was given previously, they were assured no building would ever be built.
Those promises made by former boards, which were illegal according to current ZBA members, have led to further frustrations of the residents.The fact that Matta is the chairman of the ZBA and the letter released to the residents giving an incorrect time for the meeting, further fueled the angry neighbors.Matta
excused himself as chairman during Tuesday's ZBA
meeting, with ZBA member Michele Spear presiding.About 20 residents came to dispute the building, although some of those grievances were not in the hands of the ZBA
It was determined by the ZBA
that the variance requested would give more of a buffer for the residents.Matta
also owns much of the surrounding property.
said no boats will be stored outside when the facility is completed.
Resident Michael Tinte said the area where the boats are stored has been an eyesore for the township for many years, but he
raised objections to the size of the building, which is not an issue for the ZBA
"It's a monster," he
also shared with the audience his
plans include tearing down the existing marina building and making it a park area.Many of the neighbors asked if he
could build the boat storage at that site.He
does not consider that an option.
Common parts make boats more affordable
Four Winns, Larson and Glastron share hulls or decks, said Pete Matta, president of Lake Fenton Marine in Fenton.Sea Ray and Bayliners are sharing cleats or wiring.
"Over the next few years we're probably going to be seeing more of this," Matta
This doesn't mean the boats are identical or that most of the parts are interchangeable.Different brands will have different decks, interior layouts and use different grades of materials.
"Buying a boat is probably like anything else, you get what you pay for," Matta
The bottom line is that boat builders are paying more attention to the entry-level buyer, typically young families looking for something the whole family can do together.
"They've been doing that for a few years, realizing that unless you get the entry-level buyer, the young family, to come into boating, you will lose them to other activities," Matta
Boats aren't the only thing for young families at the show.Cabela's Outfitters
is one of the exhibitors this year, bringing a 53-foot-long, 8,000-gallon tank full of Great Lakes fish to be used in fishing seminars from the pros. Cabela's
also is bringing a 48-foot-long, 6,500-gallon tank with fish so children can test their angling skills.
Some boaters might choose to skip the boat show, though.