Clarksville, TN – The Clarksville-Area Chamber of Commerce’s Business After Hours on Thursday was sponsored by Bill Roberts and the Clarksville Marina. Chamber members were given the opportunity to get a first hand look at the newly opened Marina at Liberty Park.
The Marina currently features 85 slips of which about half are already leased. When fully completed there will be a total of roughly 300 slips available. Slip rental starts at around $200 per month with the top end slips going for around $450. The Marina also features a Ships Store, basically a small convenience store, refueling station, restrooms with private showers showers, laundry facility, etc. “We are thrilled, the available slips are over half full already and our phone is ringing off the wall; it’s going to fill up quick!” said General Manager Dave Signs. “We feel like what is going on here is something that’s Clarksville’s not seen before, a marina is a family, it is its own little town.”
He feels that the Marina has something to offer for everyone, “When you come down here what you will find is folks with no money, other folks with a lot of money, and everybody in between. The water seems to kind of level the playing field for everybody. You get to know people that you likely wouldn’t without something like this.”
There will be a boathouse for the CPD police boat, CFD fire boat, and the TWRA boat that will be housed right here at the Marina. Signs said, “So we’ll have good security and safety patrols on the water which is a necessary and a helpful thing. We want our boaters to be safe when they spend their time out on the river.”
A restaurant overlooking the new marina is currently in the planning stage. “It will overlook the Marina basin, you will be able to see the piers, boats, people hanging out down here, you should be able to see see traffic on the river. It will be fairly cool!” said Signs. It should begin construction in the next few months.
The Marina slips will be serviced by CDE Lightband, you’ll be able to get electricity, telephone, and cable TV at the slips. One the construction is complete wireless Internet will be available throughout the Marina. “So, if you get off early but still have a few things you need to do, you will be able to get online,” said Signs.
Signs introduced me to Rick Cheney who would be serving as the Marina’s Operation Manager. Cheney retired after 20 years in the U. S. Coast Guard. “So he’s a longtime qualified boater with a lot of time on the water and he knows a lot about safe boating,” said Signs. “He lives here in Clarksville just 2 minutes from the Marina. We feel like he’s going to be a really good addition to our team here, and we’ve had the chance to get to know him over the last few weeks, he’s a great guy and brings a lot of experience and savvy, if you will. to the local boating community.”
Steve Kemmer of US Bank, the Chairman of the Clarksville-Area Chamber of Commerce feels that the Liberty Park and the New Marina are important tools the City can use when wooing new businesses to locate in our community. “I want to thank the Mayor and the City Council of Clarksville, Tennessee and all of the people and who persevered to get this project to completion. I recently drove around Liberty Park and saw some of the buildings, the walkways, and the fishing lake; when it’s fully complete this is going to be a beautiful addition to our city.” He continued, “Quality of life is always a very important factor that businesses consider when they look at our community. Clarksville has been developing some significant assets including the Greenways, the upcoming Blueways, and the Marina; it is amenities like those which will improve the quality of their employees lives that employers look for, when they are considering a community.”
Bill Roberts the owner of Bill Roberts, Thunder Road Automotive & Marine has been looking forward to the new Marina since the the plans for the construction were officially announced. He plans on keeping four to five boats in slips at the Marina to allow potential customers to test drive some of his hottest boats.
During the Business After Hours Bill Roberts had seven to eight boats running constant trips out into the river and back to give the after-hours attendees the opportunity to enjoy the Marina fully. The boats that he had there that day ranged in price from $19,800 to over $100,000 dollars so there are options in every price range. Mrs. Roberts rode back and forth and one of the boats spending her time enjoying the cool breeze and the afternoon sunshine, as well as entertaining the guests on the boat.
Back in big tent that in the parking lot, Marina attendees were able to enjoy hot dogs and brats, as well as their choice of refreshments.
During the presentations Marina Operator Darby Campbell said he was falling in love with our community, and hopes that the community will fall in love with river life:
I read the paper every day online, so I’m learning a lot about you. We are just really excited about the future of the Marina and ultimately the restaurant which we hope to to start construction on in a few months. I wanted to tell you one of the key people on my staff is Dave Signs who is from the Elm Hill Marina in Nashville, TN he has helped to facilitate a lot of the hiring and overseeing of the project during the construction.
Then we have Rick who is going to be the on-site manager here, if any of you interested in a slip or a rental boat or anything of that nature. Rick will be your guy!
We want to give thanks to Heritage Bank as well as Alex Dowdy for helping to facilitate the project. As you know banking is not an easy thing to get done these days and he made it happen and right now it looks like he will also be making the restaurant happen. So we’re really excited about their partnership.
I’m excited to be here, and I’m glad we had such a big turnout. One thing I wanted to say is that I think that together we can turn Clarksville into a boating community. Right now I think that you all visit your boats, and go out on boats; but the culture is going to change. At five o’clock on Friday, We hope that you start going down to your boat, and that it becomes a natural thing for you to do.
Like Darby said we’re really glad to be here , and I have been a neighbor up the road for about 15 years at the Elm Hill Marina and during that time I’ve discovered something about Marinas and the Marina life. Like Darby said it’s not just a place to park your boat, it’s a place to bring your family. My daughters grown and moved away, but every time she calls me she’s says “Dad, if I come home can we go sailing? Or, Dad if I come home can we take a boat ride. Marinas are a place for families is my point, they are a great place to bring your kids, they will always remember it. So what you got here is not just a place to park your boat, you’ll get a lot of new friends as it kind of levels the playing field. You ever notice that water does that? You go to the beach or you hang out on the river and you meet somebody, you don’t really care what they do or where they are from, you just like to see a smile and everybody having a good a time, and that’s what this place is about.
So, we invite you to come out. Check out like bills and taking my right if you want. There’s a new culture that is going to start in Clarksville for the boating community, and you’ll have a lot of fun with it! We want everybody to get the chance to come down and enjoy it.
If you don’t have a boat. It doesn’t matter, we have a fleet of rental boats. Come down and rent one, take it out and enjoy a day down on the river! It’s a great time! We will teach you how to drive, it’s real simple.
He was followed by Operations Manager Rick Cheney:
I’ve spent a lifetime on the water and there is no better lifetime the a lifetime on the water, and is no better place to do it then right here in Clarksville, Tennessee.
Last up was Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan:
I think it is wonderful, it’s so great for our community and I think it shows that once we start into something that we’re really going to get it to completion. And I think this is a wonderful day for Clarksville, for those that love being on the water and for those that love having the asset of Liberty Park right here in our town.
The Marina is there for all of Clarksville. It’s connected to a wonderful park where people can come and enjoy the outdoors, their families, and to enjoy time together outside. Whether you’re actually in the Marina, out of the boat, or just enjoying the scenery of this beautiful park.
If you would like more information about acquiring a slip of your very own at the Clarksville Marina at liberty Park, call 931-444-0636 and talk to Rick Cheney, or visit us online at clarksvillemarina.com.
The Clarksville-Area Chamber of Commerce’s Business after Hour events are designed to give Chamber members the opportunity to socialize and network with each other. As well as to introduce the community to new businesses in the area. They’re one of the most enjoyable benefits of your chamber membership.