Historic flooding could make it hard for Sunset Marina to stay afloat

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A plan to get more boaters into Rock Island’s Sunset Marina isn’t going as planned after this spring’s historic flooding. 

In December, the city council voted to reduce rates at four of the marina’s docks. At the time, management reported 45% occupancy.

However, the water has been so high people haven’t been able to get their boats into their slips. Occupancy is at 43% now and while that’s not a huge drop, the problem is that the number isn’t getting any bigger. 

“A year ago we had 198 slips sold and right now we’re at 169,” said general manager Denise Browning. “We have had boaters who have not signed contracts yet because their boat isn’t in, but they’re kind of hoping that once we get to half season that they’ll then sign half season contracts.” 

Revenue increased at the marina from 2014 to 2017, but city budget records show it dropped the next year and they are expecting it to again. 

“We are definitely struggling to make those numbers, but we’re hopeful that once we get into full season that we’ll be able to make up some ground,” Browning said.

This latest crest also stalled clean up and repairs. The marina hasn’t had power since the end of April and with the water still high they don’t know what is damaged or how much repairs will be.

“Chances are we’ll have to go to council to get that approved, so still kind of waiting on what that looks like,” Browning said.

Browning said their goal is to have the marina ready for a charity event on June 22, but even if they achieve that they still won’t have power. Their new testing date is June 17, and that’s not enough time to get the lights back on. 

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