(PUEBLO, Colo.) — Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) said it will take possession of the North Shore Marina at Lake Pueblo State Park after the current operator surrendered her contract to the state on Tuesday, Oct. 25.
According to CPW, the current operator of the marina, Connie Jack with Colorado Marine and Boat Works, signed a settlement agreement turning over the business to CPW, effective at midnight on Oct. 31. The existing contract was set to expire on Dec. 31, 2022, and CPW said they had recently solicited bids from prospective business partners to operate the marina in 2023 and beyond, including an initial bid from Jack.
However, Jack withdrew from consideration, leaving CPW to enter into negotiations with other bidders.
CPW said they hope to turn over operations on an interim basis to a new business that would operate it until a formal, long-term contract can be negotiated and signed.
“At this point, we probably have more questions than answers,” said Joe Stadterman, Lake Pueblo Park Manager. “We ask for patience as we work through some complicated issues in the coming days and weeks.”
CPW also said they intend to issue current slip renters a permit allowing them to remain in their slips through the end of the year when new contracts with the interim operator would be negotiated and signed.
“The main message here is that people and their boats can stay put, for now. But stay tuned. We must find an operator first,” said Stadterman.
CPW added that, as part of the bidding process, the agency hired an electrical consultant to evaluate the infrastructure at the marina. On Sept. 29, the consultant alerted CPW the marina electric circuits were dangerously deficient and out of compliance with national safety codes, and posed a serious electrocution hazard.
Electricity was shut off to the marina, and Jack hired an electrician who disconnected the marina’s dock slips from the electric system and made limited repairs. After the upgrade passed a state inspection, CPW restored power to the marina store and its wastewater system on Oct. 14, making restrooms operational.
Now that Jack has relinquished holding of the marina, CPW said they don’t intend to reopen the marina store or sell fuel, until an interim operator can be identified. However, it will keep the boat pump-out station and restrooms operational.
“We will keep everyone updated on the status of the marina as we iron out details of the operations of the marina,” Stadterman said.