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Anybody Want to Buy a Marina in Ohio?

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Old 07-08-2007, 02:30 PM
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Default Anybody Want to Buy a Marina in Ohio?

MARINA UP FOR AUCTION
ALAN INGRAM, Morning Journal Writer
07/08/2007

LORAIN -- It's time to move on for the Satullo family.

They've owned Copper Kettle Marina, 5823 W. Erie Ave., since 1978, when power boat racer Sandy Satullo purchased it. Since then, they've renovated it, added on to it and seen part of it destroyed by fire in 1988.

However, the marina will likely be in someone else's hands soon, as the family will put it up for auction at the end of the month.

Satullo died about seven years ago, said his son, Sandy Satullo II. The family members live throughout the country, including in Florida, Texas and California, and there are no family members who are interested in taking over the marina's operations.

The decision to sell was hard for him, Satullo II said, since he was the oldest son and most involved in the marina's operations.

''It wasn't taken lightly,'' he said. ''There's just not enough hours in the day to manage all the different things that we're involved in.''

The family is in the real estate business, he said, adding that they own Alpine Valley Ski Area.

Satullo II said he enjoyed working with the marina's customer base.

''We always tried to provide a family atmosphere,'' he said.

The auction of the marina will take place Wednesday, July 25, at 1 p.m. at the Holiday Inn, 1825 Lorain Blvd., Elyria, said Joel Dutton, president of Canton-based Dutton Auction Realty, which is handling the sale.

''We've had quite a bit of interest already,'' Dutton said. ''It's a very nice facility.''

The marina sits on 23 acres, and has 200 docks. It features a rack storage building, along with a showroom and marina repair shop.

The facility has a published minimum price of $575,000, Dutton said, meaning that if the bidding goes above that price, the seller must sell the property.

Even if the bidding does not reach the published minimum, the marina will continue to operate, Satullo II said.

Canton resident Tom Zingery, who has had two boats at Copper Kettle during at least a five-year span, said he is concerned about the idea of new owners coming in, specifically when it comes to the cost.

''I'm loyal to Copper Kettle,'' he said.

Lorain resident John Volak has housed three boats at Copper Kettle in the last 12 or 13 years, he said. He likes the personalities of the workers at the marina.

''Everybody that works here is very polite, very cordial,'' Volak said. ''Whatever you need, they're willing to help you.''

Volak is going to wait until after the auction to decide whether he's going to keep his boat at Copper Kettle.

''I don't know what's going to happen,'' he said. ''I don't know what I'm going to do with my boat next year.''

As an offshore powerboat racer, the elder Satullo placed second in the U.S. National Championship in 1972, 1973 and 1974 before winning in 1975, his son said. After that, he raced sporadically until retiring in 1978.

After the family purchased the marina, it reconstructed and renovated it before opening in 1979, Satullo II said.

They built the 12,000-square-foot new boat showroom, as well as an indoor rack storage building, which, when it was first built, was the first of its kind in the Midwest, Satullo II said. It held about 180 boats.

A 7,000-square-foot service department was also added to the property.

On July 7, 1988, tragedy struck the marina, when a fire destroyed the rack storage building and more than 100 boats.

''It was crushing to a lot of people,'' Satullo II said.

The family decided to stay in the marina business, and had a new building in operation by the next year, he added. The current building, while the same size, holds about 166 boats.

Rising water levels in the mid-1980s prompted a project to raise the Beaver Creek Bridge on West Erie Avenue (USR 6). The water was so high that boats could not make their way under the bridge, said State Rep. Joseph Koziura, D-Lorain.

Copper Kettle contributed $50,000 to the project. Complete financing for it was settled in 1994, paving the way for the project to begin.

The project was completed in one construction year, Koziura said, adding that traffic was never shut down.
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Old 07-08-2007, 03:18 PM
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Boy that would be a great place for us to move Gellner Engineering!
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Old 07-08-2007, 04:08 PM
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Bill Hionis is a bidder !
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Old 07-08-2007, 04:16 PM
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Been there, nice piece of property. The reserve of $575K may be telltale of the condition of the business.
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Old 07-08-2007, 07:03 PM
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Anybody have any pictures of this place
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Old 07-09-2007, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
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Been there, nice piece of property. The reserve of $575K may be telltale of the condition of the business.
Yeah, sounds way too cheap to me. Short seasons don't help.

If anybody has more info, picks, links, etc. please share. If it can make a decent return, I might be a bidder.
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Old 07-09-2007, 01:05 PM
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The Spitzer family has been pushing casino gambling in Ohio for years. If they ever get it through, the massive property they own up in Lorain will become their casino location. It's the old port. If it ever happens, that KK property will be worth 100 times whatever they get for it at auction.

The way things are going in Ohio, it wouldn't surprise me at all if gambling passes in the next few years. Employers are fleeing the ridiculous business taxes the state imposes. They need something to bring in the $$. Plus, we're surrounded on all corners with gambling so it's probably just a matter of time.
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Old 07-09-2007, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
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If anybody has more info, picks, links, etc. please share. If it can make a decent return, I might be a bidder.
Just personal opinion, but the place is a shat hole...Although that could be a product of current management.

Very shallow water to get back there. If someone was to buy it, they should plan on sinking alot of $$ into it. Docks are not in the best shape. Its a really long ride to the lake. Logistically, it isnt too practical. Its about 30 miles to the islands, 30 miles to cleveland.

As far as ammenities, they dont exist. There is not a whole lot appealing in the near area either.

Just had a friend who rack stored there. Moved his boat there in May, moved his boat out of there in June.
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Old 07-09-2007, 04:25 PM
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From your point of view you are correct and your style of boating. There are many who want to go out and just take a ride or fish. They do not need a drinking destination, they drink at thier dock.

Still a nice parcel of property. It has been 20 years since I have seen it and the docks wee rickety then. If you only paid $575K you would have no complaints.
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Old 07-09-2007, 05:05 PM
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''It wasn't taken lightly,'' he said. ''There's just not enough hours in the day to manage all the different things that we're involved in.''
He can't find a partner to invest and manage with him?
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