CLINTON — Winter has arrived and as the river begins to freeze, employees at the Clinton Marina are feeling confident to finally take a deep breath.
First-year marina manager Cindy Brackemeyer said there were several obstacles to overcome during the river’s peak season, but she feels her first year was successful and is already planning for next season.
“Anytime you start something new, there’s anxiety,” Brackemeyer said. “But, everybody seemed happy and the city said there wasn’t any complaints so that’s good to hear.”
Without having much knowledge about the marina or river, Brackemeyer was nervous about taking the position as manager, but said the boaters who frequented the marina over the summer were open-minded and were essential to her as she navigated the new position.
“The best teachers I have had were the boaters themselves,” Brackemeyer said. “I tried to take in everything I could along the way.”
Taking the lessons she has learned already, Brackemeyer is ready to start planning for next year to make the marina a strong asset for the Clinton community.
One thing she knows will be essential for drawing activity to Clinton’s riverfront is the city’s decision to renovate the Riverview Park Bandshell.
“I’m excited about the bandshell. It will really help us promote for transients,” Brackemeyer said. “Once that is done, we can really promote this area to all kinds of travelers.”
As for now though, all the boats have been removed from the dock slips and winterized for the year and the marina employees have other duties to complete.
One of the biggest things Brackemeyer would like to see during the off season is a new numbering system for the docks, making it easier for transient boaters to rent the slips. But the possibility of eight new slips being added to the marina is delaying that from happening.
“Numbering the docks was something I had hoped to accomplish last year but there’s the possibility that we will add eight more slips at some point,” Brackemeyer said. “But that is a big priority to get appropriate signage. I want to make it a little more boater-friendly.”
Other than the signage, standard maintenance and a lot of paperwork takes up the majority of her time during the off season, leaving her additional time to work on planning for next year.
In an ideal world, Brackemeyer would like to see more family activities tied to the marina and is brainstorming some ideas of how to make that a possibility.
“Next summer we’re going to try to do monthly parties for the boaters and definitely something fun for the kiddos,” Brackemeyer said. “Since I have more of my ducks in a row, I’ll be able to get out there and do more of what I wanted. I’m just excited for next year.”