City seeks new operator for marina - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

City seeks new operator for marina

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We're several months from boating season but the city of Toledo already thinking about the Skyway Marina.  The city is searching for a private company to run the marina.

No one ran it last year and that cost the city money.  But finding an operator this year could lead to a couple benefits.

Toledo Maritime Academy has students learning in quiet classrooms just like in other schools

But at the Academy, you'll also hear them making noise unlike other schools.

Third year student Lexi Knapp says,"other schools don't do stuff like maritime and nautical stuff."

There are classes in boat building and knot tieing, to name a couple.

And just across the Maumee River from the academy is Toledo's Skyway Marina...

Last boating season, no one ran this marina.  Toledo Deputy Mayor Paul Seyring told 13abc reporter Bill Hormann, "There's a huge demand for waterfront development and this is a component of that."

So this year, the city is looking for someone to take the wheel and run the marina.  Toledo simply does not want to operate a marina anymore. It believes a private operator can do it better.  But there could be a couple interesting results that come from that.

Teamed with the new maritime museum opening in the spring, the marina could turn a nice profit and that could mean opportunity.

By watching the crowds the marina and museum attract, the Chinese investors who own the marina *district* could change course on their layout and design.

Councilman Rob Ludeman (R-Toledo) says that could mean changes in philosophy.  "Will it be more residential, more commercial, more shop oriented?"

That could help create jobs which is exactly what students at Toledo Maritime Academy need.

Superintendent Renee Marazon says her group would love to partner with the new marina operators and create internships for students.  "My kids want to be near the water and they want to be doing what they're learning though out the year," she says.

Student Gary Cunningham, agrees, "It would be a golden opportunity for them.  They would have a blast doing what we're doing here."

Toledo is asking for bids to run the marina. A new manager should be selected by the end of February.

New jobs like concession sales and marina manager... and marina staff may be available and that could help waterfront development around the marina district.

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