The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

May 23, 2013

New marina operator, manager make changes to please boaters

By Katie Dahlstrom
Herald Staff Writer

CLINTON — The new Clinton Marina and RV Park operator has taken charge of the riverfront amenities, making sure boaters and campers are taken care of and the facilities run smoothly just in time for Memorial Day.

The Clinton City Council in March approved Matt Prescott, owner of the Candlelight Inn, as the marina and RV park operator after the city decided not to renew former operator Skipper Buds’ contract.

Prescott took over May 1, putting a team in place to manage the facility.  

Cindy Brackemeyer has been managing the Clinton Marina for less than a month, but said she already feels that she and her staff of three dock hands have made a difference.  

“I am completely positive. We have already accomplished so much.  We really just want to bring the whole riverfront together,” Brackemeyer said. “By Memorial Day I want this place to be rocking and rolling.”  

Brackemeyer has worked for Prescott for 15 years, including a period when she helped open the Candlelight Inn on the upper floor of the amenities building. One of the positive changes she said she has made is moving the desk from the marina shop to the northeast corner of the building so restaurant patrons and boaters notice the shop is staffed, open and ready for customers.  

Since switching management, the marina hours have been changed to 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.  

The new hours are part of the goal to enhance the experience for boaters and to make the facility as profitable as it can be for the city. Brackemeyer said not only does she want the hours to be amicable for boaters, but she and her staff strive to make the marina patrons happy as well.  

“When boaters come we want them to have a great experience. We want them to feel welcome by offering as much as we can and doing it with a smile,” Brackemeyer said. “We’re here for them.”

As part of the contract, Prescott and Brackemeyer gave their first monthly report to the City Services Committee on Wednesday.

They told the committee members they are working on establishing a website and setting up the phone in the shop. Also, the staff members will get uniforms also so they can easily be identified by boaters or campers in need of assistance.

So far, Brackemeyer said, there hasn’t been a problem collecting from any of the people camping in the RV Park, which was a concern of city officials when seeking a new operator.  

Brackemeyer and staff have been assisting boaters launch and maintain their boats since they started and also have identified 10 empty slips for rent.

“The number one goal is to get those filled. That’s lost revenue for the city,” Brackemeyer told committee members.  

While the transition is still happening, Prescott and Brackemeyer were optimistic and enthusiastic about the potential not only for the marina and campground but for the impact that their changes can have on the riverfront as whole.  

“We’ve got a long ways to go. It’s not going to happen overnight. I would say in a month we are going to look back on this whole process and say, ‘boy it’s moving in the right direction and everything’s going,’” Prescott said.