Traverse City News and Events

Elk Rapids' Downtown Marina For Sale

By Ross Boissoneau | June 21, 2020

With interest in boating spiking as a way to enjoy the summer of the pandemic, Jim Trierweiler has a deal for you. How about your own marina, with free rein to explore Elk Lake, Lake Skegemog, Torch Lake and more, and help others do the same?
 
Downtown Elk Rapids’ Elk River Marina has been listed for sale for $3,750,000. “I’ve owned it since 1984. I’m still healthy, it’s just time to get out,” says owner Trierweiler.
 
With the economy just restarting after the shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, it might not seem to be the best time to try to sell a business for nearly $4 million. But realtor Kevin Endres of Three West says he’s had calls from people in Detroit, Chicago and elsewhere. “There was interest right out of the gate before the lockdown,” he says, adding that the marina has revenue streams from slip rental to sales and service.
 
Endres says he’s had conversations with residential realtors who believe people will be looking to move out of the big, crowded cities after contending with the stay-home orders. But to survive, they will need to bring a business with them, start a new one, or purchase one for sale – like Elk River Marina. “I’m anticipating all the listings with business opportunities will become pretty sought out.”
 
That’s despite the fact the pandemic crushed numerous segments of the economy, including boat sales and boat-related industries. According to TC Palm of Florida, after starting the year strong, the last half of March saw a sudden cessation of sales, resulting in numerous shutdowns across the industry and across the country: Viking Yachts in New Jersey suspended production, Regal Boats closed its plant in Georgia, Brunswick Corporation halted production of Mercury Outboards, Yamaha Outboards did the same domestically, and Groupe Beneteau suspended production at its Cadillac facility.
 
But with summer here and restrictions being lifted, it’s suddenly all systems go for the industry. Marinas and dealerships across the state are struggling to keep up with demand. Trierweiler says that includes Elk River Marina, which he says is currently as busy as he’s ever seen it. “We keep on top of things. I’m blessed with very good employees.”
 
Elk River Marina is located in downtown Elk Rapids on the Elk River, which is connected to Elk Lake and the rest of the Chain of Lakes, including Lake Skegemog, Torch River, Torch Lake, Clam Lake, Lake Bellaire and Intermediate Lake.
 
The 4.2-acre property includes 49 covered boat slips, 62 uncovered boat slips, a waterfront fueling station, a 4,300 square foot showroom/office/mechanic shop, a restroom facility, and a 12,000 square foot onsite storage building. There’s also an offsite four-acre property with three storage buildings.
 
Trierweiler says the various facets of the business provide income year-round. In season there is sales and service, with billing in the fall for winter storage. And in the peak season, rental of boat slips. Endres adds that Elk River Marina is the number one seller of ShoreStation boat hoists in the country.
 
While he’s ready to pass the business on to someone who wants to take it to the next level, Trierweiler says he would be willing to stay on for a time if a new owner requested it. He says providing direction and suggestions for a new owner could be valuable, especially if it is someone new to the industry. “If an interested party wanted to make sure I’d stay on, I will do it for a year.
 
“I’ve been very happy with the way things have gone the past 35 years,” Trierweiler says.

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