News & Events for Chesapeake Bay

Marathon Marina’s Prestigious Award

Date Posted: 2021-01-12
Source: Ed Tillett, Editor-In-Chief

Positive reviews and customer satisfaction are paramount for all businesses. And when a leading trade organization recognizes your company for excellence, the satisfaction of a job well done is especially rewarding. Marathon Marina and Resort has received such distinction from Marina Dock Age.

Waterway Guide went on an excursion in early December 2020 to see how the Florida Keys were dealing with COVID-19 pandemic life and what boaters and marinas were feeling as we complete the first year of this maelstrom. There are changes and adaptations, but all in all marinas and boatyards are operational and active. One of our stops was at Marathon Marina and Resort.  Evident from the moment we backed into our reserved slip was that we were in for a nice visit, and later learned that Marathon has been awarded Marina Dock Age’s “Best Small Marina of the Year” distinction for 2021. Read the review in the Jan/Feb 2021 edition here.

Susan Prichard, G.M. of Marathon Marina sat down for an interview with Waterway Guide and to reflect on how her facility has coped and garnered such high praise for its handling of two events that have rocked the Keys in the past three years. Hurricane Irma in 2017 reshaped Marathon and several of the adjacent communities. Not only was infrastructure and geography impacted, but significant numbers of the workforce community that support tourism and visitation lost their housing and have not returned.

Then two years later Monroe County, FL reacted to the pandemic with regulations that forced businesses and boaters to adjust instantly. In an upbeat and no-nonsense Kansas farmgirl way, which is a description she is proud to typify, Susan says that Irma had prepared them for the pandemic. After all, she says,  the marina’s managers and staff had been, “Putting the place back together for the past 3 years and learned to overcome the odds against us.”

For instance, when Monroe County reacted to the initial outbreak of COVID-19 and required vessels and visitors to leave or move last March, Marathon Marina provided various levels of assistance to scores of boaters anchored nearby who had nowhere to go. Marathon Marina also reported to Waterway Guide regularly on the conditions there and alerted our staff reporters on what vessels might expect. The marina’s personnel worked with boaters to get them what they required to remain safe and provisioned. And Susan communicated regularly with county leadership to confirm compliance and resolve any misunderstandings.

From our visit it is clear that Marathon Marina and Resort has established itself as a forward-thinking and well-managed facility and destination based on several principles of sound business practices including flexibility, attention to detail and creative thinking.

Guests and visitors have high praise for the facilities and employees. Floating docks, bathhouses, pool, restaurant, fuel dock and boatyard are clean, organized and secure.  Many regular slip holders are not back this year due to travel restrictions in their home states and the overall pall that hangs over being on the move during the pandemic. But others have taken their places. And with new boat owners joining the recreational ranks and regulars spending more time afloat, business is good, says Susan. Revenue streams have shifted somewhat but good weather this season and a positive outlook by boaters and visitors have prevailed at Marathon.

There is a reason Marathon Marina and Resort is a Featured Marina with Waterway Guide. The operation stands out as a premier facility that embodies superb hospitality, orderly layout and associated amenities to make your stay rewarding and comfortable. Finally, their devotion to safety and education rounds out their commitment to the boating community through their SeaTow Life Jacket Loaner program and their hosting of regular seminars by experts on various topics.

Plan to visit Marathon Marina and Resort. Tell them Waterway Guide sent you.

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