Boat registrations in the state of Illinois indicate that 85% of boat owners currently trailer their boats. Furthermore, most boat registrations are attributed to smaller boat sizes. While dry stack storage is extremely successful throughout the country, the stack storage and service market opportunity has not yet been seized by any of the other marinas in the region. This is likely due to the fact that most of those locations do not have settings available out of floodplain elevation. There are successful dry stack operations at Lake Geneva, Chain of Lakes, and Western Michigan. Dry stack storage is an increasingly popular alternative for storing boats and other watercraft. The underlying concept is to offer a structure with the capacity to store boats in a climate controlled environment in storage racks up to four levels high. The Illinois River is already extremely popular for boats between 22 & 28 feet so this offering should have strong regional appeal. Boating guests will patronize the hotel/inn, restaurants, and retail establishments in the resort. The dry stack storage will serve as a strong demand generator for the Heritage Harbor Inn and bring more prospective real estate buyers to the resort.
Heritage Harbor will be able to offer high quality marina amenities, convenience, valet services, and marine service and maintenance. Heritage Harbor has developed a very detailed understanding of the financial model for the dry stack opportunity. It is anticipated that this project will be developed in up to three phases. Each phase would feature an 80 vessel capacity with ancillary storage, operation, maintenance, and service space. The operational efficiency would be unparalleled due to the close proximity to the harbor while still building outside the flood plain.
- Other advantages of Dry Stack Boat Storage Facility include:
- Ideal for boats up to 32’
- Heated facility protected from the weather
- Concierge services to make boating more fun
- Full mechanical services available
- An economical alternative to trailer hauling
- Lower maintenance than wet slips
- Full security and protection for boat owners.
- Provides easy, convenient storage for boaters who live in neighborhoods with covenants/restrictions.
- Dry stacking extends the boating season for many.
- Access to the best marina resort in the Midwest
The dry stack facility will be a strong demand generator for the Heritage Harbor Inn and the destination restaurant, and it will also increase tourism and serve to benefit the regional economy. Many boaters flock to the area every year to enjoy many amenities that Starved Rock Country has to offer. This facility will certainly encourage more boaters to visit the area and spend their money locally, and will help the region further capitalize on these visitors. The dry stack facility will be a major attraction for boaters who seek to have the benefit and security of storing their boats in a dry, all-weather facility.