Michigan Windsurfing

Windsurfing & Stand-Up Paddleboarding in Michigan

I regret to inform everyone that the Blue Lagoon Marina has been taken over by Blaz Marine and they will not offer access to the lake for non-members.   If you choose to purchase a boat and rent a slip then you will have access to the lake. The Owner of the Marina has made the decision, not Blaz, and as of now, the decision seems final. I will work on them again in the summer and press for fall access.

Take care and see you soon.

Jason

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Comment by Chris Righi on April 8, 2014 at 12:11pm

This case may be a bit too strong to make, but I figured I would bring it up anyways.  This could be a potential proposition that we could make to the folks that will now be running the marina.  

Simply put, the case I thought we could make is that some money is better than no money.  We have all paid for the passes to have access to the windsurfing area; as to how many passes have been sold over the years, I am not sure.  But the point is that in selling those "windsurfer specific" passes, they were making a great business transaction. We require little to no attention monetary or otherwise from the marina itself since the windsurfers take responsibility for keeping the area clean and the grass cut. These things help the marina to maintain a positive appeal and since the windsurfers take care of those things themselves... Well, once again, it was a great business transaction for the marina.

I speak for myself when I say this (but I could imagine I am not the only one who thinks this way) that I won't be buying a full membership unless it is a reasonable price.  I'm not holding my breath for that... I can call them and check on the fee for a membership just to be sure, but chances are it won't be an economical price to pay when all I would need access to it the windsurfing area.  Under the assumption that I am not the only one who will not buy a membership, the marina will likely end up losing money even though they can sell memberships for more than they can sell season passes.

I'm not sure if the folks at Blaz would agree with any of this thought process, but I just figured I would share the idea on the forum and see if it could be of any use... I suppose this idea becomes somewhat irrelevant if the marina is simply concerned with liability issues.  A solution to that issue would be to only sell each person a pass if they have them each sign a waiver that removes any liability from the marina in the event of any potential injuries sustained while on their property...

Comment by Don Ferguson on April 1, 2014 at 3:19pm

This Friday we leave for two glorious weeks, can't wait!! Already have the truck partially packed up. Annabel has had a rough few weeks retinal tear and detachment no reason but genetics and age she needs it bad,,errr not that I don't,,  heck, I think we all do!!! But yeah we have definitely got to get together, we will be at the Cass Lake swap for sure! Did you see the mouth of the river this afternoon? Wow looks great 4.5 conditions but 33 deg F and no ice here!!

Comment by Tom Janicki on April 1, 2014 at 3:00pm

Don, I will take you up on that this summer.

When is your OBX trip planned?

Comment by Don Ferguson on March 31, 2014 at 1:16pm

Just in case. I would like to mention if you don't mind crossing the border at the Detroit/Windsor tunnel our side can also be quite good on any North to NorEaster, Tecumseh /lakehore area,,  Westerlies and NorWesterlies tend to be gusty as it comes in over Detroit, but Belle River may be a better option in those directions! About 45 min to an hour from tunnel exit

Comment by Chris Righi on March 31, 2014 at 11:29am

I certainly hope that a compromise can be reached so that we still have access to the windsurfing launch. Blue Lagoon is the ideal place around the Macomb County area for a good sail and I would not know where else to go on a north wind day that isn't hours away from home. If Jason could keep us all updated on any new developments in negotiating with the Blaz folks that would be great!

Comment by Tom Janicki on March 27, 2014 at 3:31pm

Here is the official letter from Blue Lagoon Marina regarding there departure.

Happy New Year Blue Lagoon Marina Customers!

There have been many rumors floating around about our future with the marina and we would like to take this opportunity to clarify the situation.

It is with a heavy heart and mixed emotions to inform you that we will not be running the marina formerly known as Blue Lagoon Marina in 2014. As 2013 progressed, we did not have any indication that our lease would not be renewed after six years of running our business out of the marina, always paying our rent, maintaining the marina and making improvements that were cost effective and would have a return on our investment. It was late summer when rumors began floating around the area that our lease may not be renewed, although they were not verified by our landlord and owner of the property, George Lukas.

As the fall approached, we discovered that George was thinking about putting the marina up for sale and taking the business back over with the help of his son(s) in order to make a sale more attractive and easier to transition to any potential buyer. He insisted that he and his family really needed the money a sale of the marina would bring. We told him we would be interested in talking about purchasing the marina and we insisted he make his decision quickly as we needed to begin our plans for winter storage of our customer's boats and develop some sort of exit strategy with him if need be.

He informed us to move forward with our winter storage season but not to do anything with 2014 slip rentals until we talked further.

The week of Thanksgiving we received official notice in a letter from George that he would not be offering a lease renewal to us since he had put the marina up for sale for just under $ 7 million and with the help of his family he would be taking the marina over January 1st. We had wanted a long term lease or a purchase agreement in order to stay but of course we had many questions for George Lukas regarding transitioning the marina. We sent him a letter immediately asking questions about spring launch and how he planned to return all of our shoring that was sitting under the winter stored boats. Keep in mind at this time every boat was out of the water, and contracted with Blue Lagoon. Blue Lagoon had scheduled, hauled out, shored, and collected payment, which is 90% of the work completed. Our office was getting ready to close for the season and our employees were laid off as in years past and we needed a transition plan. We also had moved out by January 1st as asked.

We still have not received answers from George Lukas to these questions as of today. We received notice from Blaz Marine in an email dated 1/6/14 that they would be running the marina in 2014 as Waypointe Marina. You can probably imagine our shock, surprise and disappointment that we had been deceived and lied to by the very people we had trusted, our landlord and our sub-tenant. Blaz marine, who had shared our front office with us, watched us handle all of our customers winter storage needs possibly while he was in the process of negotiating a lease with George Lukas.

We hold the contracts for winter storage and believe them to be valid and we plan to launch the boats in the spring and retrieve our shoring. We believe George should honor the contracts just as Dave did when he took over the marina six years ago and launched every one of George’s customers in the spring for free and turned over any money paid for winter storage directly to him.

We have not sold our business and will not be sharing your contact or payment information to anyone, as it is proprietary to Blue Lagoon Marina. We have worked too hard over the years developing our many businesses (new and used boat sales, yacht brokerage, refinishing, service, transport and heated storage to name a few) to be treated this way. We had invested tens of thousands of dollars in the marina on improvements and maintenance, developing new income streams, and advertising and marketing all of these services. Not to mention we funded the dredging project, George is slowly paying us back by allowing us to deduct money from our rent each month. We did not charge him interest or administrative fees in order to maintain a good relationship with him. We have always been fair and timely in all of our dealings with George.

There is a rumor going around that we didn’t pay our taxes and ran off with our customer’s winter storage money….all ridiculous. We are not responsible for paying taxes on the property since George owns it but we did pay for half the taxes directly to George as part of our monthly lease payment. As far as we know he pays his taxes on time and is paid in full. Also, our customer’s boats are hauled out and shored on our shoring, we did the work and we were paid. We left the marina as asked by January 1st and will continue to work towards a positive transition with our customers.

We want you to know that we are so proud to say that we have the best customers and think of you as FAMILY and we thank you for your support and business over the years! You have shown it in so many

ways, from the volunteers who have helped clean up the marina, to the appreciation we received constantly and consistently from you, the township and other businesses and residents in the area for transforming the marina into a family atmosphere that has showers, more bathrooms, nicer docks than it ever had and for expanding our services that made the marina a true FULL SERVICE MARINA. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

- The fact of the matter is that those of you that have your boat stored with us are contracted for the entire winter and those contracts are valid.

- If you receive a bill for winter storage from anyone other than Blue Lagoon you are not to pay it and should call us immediately!

- If you need access to your boat in the marina you should contact Waypointe Marina for access information, the gate was closed this weekend but it should be open during their working hours

- You will be launched in the spring. We are working with an attorney to work this out with George not Waypointe or Blaz, who we don’t have any agreement or responsibility to.

- If you want to discuss summer well rental, call Waypointe Marina 586-307-3445

As for Blue Lagoon Marina & Yacht Sales, we have purchased a 35,000 square foot building in Clinton Township on N. Walnut, right down the street from Selfridge ANG. It is the new home of Blue Lagoon Marina and full of heated storage boats at present. We have set up our offices already and will continue doing storage, marine transport, yacht brokerage, Dealer for Renegade Marine Group, NauticStar and Pioneer boats and used boat sales. We are also looking for a small marina in the area to purchase or lease and are hopeful we can obtain something in the very near future.

Thank you again for your support and we will be in touch as new information arises!

Dave and Joanne

Blue Lagoon Marina
42834 N. Walnut
Clinton Twp., MI 48036
586 463-1020
BlueLagoonMarina.com

Comment by Don Ferguson on March 26, 2014 at 4:39pm

hey Millard, nice video!!!  Oh I need it bad!!

Comment by Brian on March 26, 2014 at 10:49am

If Dan's guess is correct, then timing and slightly increased fees won't help much.  I'm wondering if Jason has had an more communications with them?  Jason?

Comment by Millard Berry on March 26, 2014 at 10:17am

Two years ago we had some great days at Blue Lagoon in April. Highlights are here in a three minute video:

http://www.millardberry.com/galleries/windsurfing-blue-lagoon-on-co...

I stopped in there last month, found the gate open and the windsurfing launch still accessible. As we await this year’s ice melt there are some questions some sailors must have: Would the new managers object to windsurfers using the launch in the cold spring days? Surely some boardheads and kiters will go there not knowing the new policy. And would that hurt our possible access later in the year? The suggestion that they could be able to sell, even at an increased fee, access to non-boat owners as some marinas have done sounds great to me.

Comment by Dan Katlein on February 27, 2014 at 10:39am

It undoubtedly has to do with potential liability and insurance.  Damn lawyers!  The property owner can be sued if someone gets hurt on the property.  I am guessing that the property owner believes that the marina's insurance coverage does not sufficiently cover injuries to non-members, whether they are actually paying a fee or are mere trespassers.  That would be why the property owner would have created the guidelines for the marina to follow.  There is no way that additional revenue from sailor fees (possibly in the hundreds of dollars) would ever cover the potential liability (possibly in the hundreds of thousands of dollars).  The question is can insurance be obtained in an amount needed to satisfy the owner, and how much would that cost.  My guess is that the marina does not make enough in fees to even cover the cost of the insurance.

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