BaySave’s headquarters at Money Island New Jersey is served by an anchor business called Money Island Marina. For decades the marina served local fishermen. Now it is a lonely place teetering on the verge of extinction.
In 2015 Money Island Marina served an average of one boat per day. This translates to an average gross revenue of less than $100 per day counting slip rentals, gasoline sales, bait and other services. This is less than a third of what we saw a decade ago and less than 25% of its peak in the 1980s. I point this out early in discussions about the future of the marina because it is important to recognize that this is not a business, it is an expensive hobby.
Of course, we are not the only marina facing difficulty. Throughout the state and around the world many marinas have closed. Most become private residences for rich people. When this happens the public loses access to the waterway at that location. We recognize the danger of this trend but here in New Jersey we have taken little action to stop it.
The two keys to sustainability for Money Island Marina are 1) getting people to give a darn, and 2) building a stable cash flow to cover minimal expenses like taxes and maintenance. The Nature Conservancy concludes that macroeconomic trends are not good on the first point. People just not getting outdoors as much as in the past. Unfortunately there are fewer compelling reasons to visit our marina today. Without people it is difficult for any business to achieve success with key #2.
One boat per day will not sustain a marina. We continue to work on a sustainability plan but are not confident that we have any viable options yet.