Ute Lake Marina opens in style for Fourth

By Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun

For some there was no better way to start the Fourth of July weekend than with free hot dogs and a new marina.

That’s what about 200 guests and civic and governmental officials had to say at Friday’s noon-time grand opening of the Ute Lake Marina in Logan.

“It’s better than pushing and pulling the boat in and out of the sand,” said 11-year-old Zachary Padilla, who had recently polished off a hot dog and drink.

Zachary’s father, Daniel Padilla, said he and his family have had their boat docked at the marina for the past week. “We spend summers the here. The marina makes it much better. We were fishing off the dock until 2 a.m. last night.”

“The park’s been without a marina for about 18 months, “ said Ute Lake Park Superintendent John R. Vigil. “It’s so much more of an efficient type operation.

The boaters were having to take their boats out of the water and then take them up to Logan to get gas.”

Attorney Warren Frost, who grew up in Tucumcari and now lives in Logan, pushed for and is an investor in the new marina.

The 54-slip marina, with a convenience store and gas pumps represents and investment of more than $250,000, said Frost. Of the 54 mooring slips, 24 are covered.

The boat slips, which are rented on a daily and annual basis, are about 90 percent rented, Frost said. So there are plans to add more slips in the future.

Frost is the managing partner of BLS, LLC. Bruce Hamon and Barry Freedman the ther partners and are also investors in the Ute Lake Ranch development on the south side of the lake, Frost said. Manager of the marina is Rob Barber.

In order to set up the floating marina, Frost said, an agreement had to be reached with the state and that includes giving the state parks system a percentage of the concession sales and two cents on each gallon of gas sold, he said. On Friday, gasoline was selling for $2.99 per gallon in Logan, and the medium-grade gas at the marina was selling for $3.39 per gallon.

Vigil said the Ute Lake park rangers keep two boats, a 24-foot Mark Twain and 21-foot Triton, at the marina for patrolling and for rescues on the lake.

State Sen. Clint Harden (R-Clovis), one of the officials who attended, said, “I think it’s going to help a lot. It’s a great partnership for the park. I’ve already heard from some people in town that they think it’s going to help the businesses in town, too. It really is a huge upgrade.”

Meanwhile, while more people drifted down to the lake’s shore to visit the marina, others were opening the doors to their boat storage lockers, setting up campers and getting ready for their annual Fourth of July Ute Lake vacation.

Vigil said that over the July Fourth week the park’s attendance will eventually swell to between 10,000 to 12,000.

And they’ll all have one new item to check out on the lake, a brand new marina.