Dillon plans to increase rental rates for pontoon boats at the marina this summer.
Craig Simson, Dillon Marina Operations Manager, approached Dillon City Council at a regular business meeting on April 6 to discuss potential rate changes ahead of this year’s boating season. He asked for an increase in order to better keep up with boat replacements and to remain competitive with neighboring marinas across the region.
Simson said recent rate increases on the lake at the Frisco Bay Marina have helped influence demand. In December, Frisco City Council approved rental rate increases of 7-10% across the board, as well as a further increase in the price of vacation rentals.
“In response to the City of Frisco’s approval of an increase in pontoon rental rates, Dillon would like to partner with an 8% increase in our rental fleet,” said Simson.
The tariff increase would only apply to pontoon boats, Simson said. Under the new fare schedule, a two-hour trip on a 22-foot pontoon would drop from about $ 180 to $ 195. The bump would bring Dillon rentals almost to the same level as Frisco, but not quite create a consistent price around the lake. For comparison, a two-hour rental of a 20-foot boat in Frisco costs around $ 200.
Simson said the proposed change, if approved, would take place after May 1 and people who have already booked reservations would benefit from the lowest rates.
Dillon CFO Carri McDonnell said the rate hike made sense for the city.
“In order to be able to cover our costs and keep our boats newer, as we’ve tried to do, I think it’s a good move for us and certainly keeps us competitive with our neighboring community,” McDonnell said. “… We are quite confident about the state of our tariffs and what we need to do to maintain our tariffs in the future. “
Dillon increased the boat rental fee last year by $ 5 per rental, but before that the rates had not changed since 2016. The increase this year should help provide a stronger source of funds to help. to cover costs and replace rental boats on a three-year cycle. Dillon is currently expected to purchase six new pontoon boats this year, which would replace four old ones and increase the fleet by two, according to the city’s 2021 budget.
Rental boats are by far the most important source of income for the city’s Marina Enterprise Fund, amounting to about $ 925,000 last year, according to the city’s budget document.
City council is expected to vote on a resolution on the change at a regular meeting on Tuesday, April 20. However, council members broadly expressed support in advance of the formal decision later this month.
“I am actually in favor of an increase in tariffs,” said Renee Imamura, city council member, “just because we have to cover our costs and we should be competitive.”
While 2020 has certainly been a busy year at Dillon Reservoir and other Summit County marinas, Simson said 2021 could draw even bigger crowds to the area.
“We get quite a few bookings,” Simson said. “Everything so far this year indicates that we will probably have a season similar to last year, if not more. And it is throughout the industry. The marinas industry in general is sort of gearing up for a repeat of 2020 – hopefully just the reservations part. “