Florida ranks second only to Alaska in its length of coastline. No wonder the sunshine state’s residents and visitors alike are drawn to the shore and the waters beyond. In fact, Florida led U.S. boating states in the number of registered recreational watercraft in 2014, according to the report, Florida’s Recreational Marine Industry – Relative Growth and Economic Impact 2008-2015, and this number rose to nearly 1 million in 2016. These craft, which represent everything from sail to power, skiffs to superyachts and one hull or more, are the ticket to the ocean blue and wide world of watersports for millions annually. It makes sense then that a marina operations company whose philosophy is that ‘water is something everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy’ has recently entered the Florida market to do just this in its own unique way.
“When we formed Suntex our vision was to provide access to the best experiences possible on the water to our membership base,” says Bryan Redmond, founding principal and president Suntex Ventures, a Dallas, TX-headquartered real estate company that acquires, develops and operates marinas in a dozen U.S. states. “The state of Florida provides some the best on water experiences in our country and many of the highest quality assets to do it from. Marina Jack, Miami Beach, Las Olas and the Loggerhead Marina Portfolio were all identified as key locations and target assets to help Suntex achieve this vision. Fortunately, the stars aligned from 2016 to 2018 for these assets to become available and for Suntex to add to what we believe is the highest quality marina portfolio ever assembled.”
There’s a trio of projects Suntex has actively underway this year in Florida. The first is Suntex Marina at Daytona Beach. This property is undergoing a complete redevelopment with new slips for vessels 30- to 100-feet available for the 2018-2019 season. New outside dry racks going in by the end of the year can accommodate boats up to 35-feet. Additional improvements include brand new Meeco Sullivan docks; state-of-the-art electric, power and water hook ups; pump-out facilities; a pool and hot-tub; captains lounge; grilling area for members and an on-site restaurant. Secondly, Suntex Marina at Vero Beach recently expanded to include new floating slips ranging from 45- to 120-foot, Meeco Sullivan docks with state-of-the-art dockside utilities. Coastal lifts will be added with the ability to accommodate 35-foot boats. Third, Suntex’ Florida dry stack facilities will offer Hurricane storage options. These will be available at the following locations: Suntex Marina at St. Pete, Snook Bight Marina, Suntex Marina at South Miami, Suntex Marina at Jupiter, Suntex Marina at Riviera Beach, Suntex Marina at Lantana and Suntex Marina at Daytona.
Looking forward, Suntex will carry on investing in and improving the amenities package offered at each marina as well as to enhance its slip infrastructure to meet Florida boater’s demands for larger wet slips and dry stacks. Additionally, the company will keep adding boat lifts for its customers wherever possible to help members lower their maintenance cost by storing their vessels out of the elements when not in use. Suntex will also continue its work on a membership benefits program, which it will roll out in phases starting in 2019. Finally, there remain several key locations throughout Florida that are on the company’s radar for the future.
Redmond says the double-edged goal with each of Suntex’s marinas is to keep the local name and feel of the community that was created prior to the company’s arrival and at the same time to bring the highest level of customer service and as many amenities as possible to its members. This usually means the addition of a ship’s store with a wide inventory of goods necessary to suit a variety of boating experiences, new and improved bathroom and shower facilities, laundry facilities, concierge service, and wherever possible a food and beverage option. The company is always on the look-out for additional ways to provide access to the water for future boaters as well. This can be through Suntex’s Circle of Boating initiative of rental boating or boat club membership, its dinner boat cruise operations, or through its charter boat partner operations.
“We are still in the process of perfecting our Circle of Boating program that we currently offer in 7 markets today (Fort Myers, FL; Canyon Lake and Texas Hill Country, Dallas, TX; Fort Worth, TX; Tulsa, OK; Atlanta, GA; and Des Moines, IA). We hope to grow this business significantly in upcoming years because we believe it is the future of how we can do our part to engage more people into the boating lifestyle and to let them enjoy the water with the many of us who love it so much already. We do expect to make some larger announcements about this in 2019,” says Redmond.