“This has been a long time coming,” Gulfport Mayor Sam Henderson told those assembled for the 5 p.m. ribbon cutting.
Harbormaster Denis Frain, who has worked in the marina for more than three decades and oversaw the development of the project, told the gathering the marina would serve as an anchor for the city of Gulfport and surrounding communities.
The new two-story facility, which took about a year to complete, includes an upstairs dayroom, bathrooms, showers and observation area for overnight patrons and an open area below for tour-boat guests. The old marina office and retail space next door have been overhauled into one open 500-square-foot store with new countertops and shelving.
Among those present for the inauguration was Doug Fuller of St. Petersburg, a 16-year member of the Boca Ciega Yacht Club who said he has seen the marina improve steadily over the years.
“I think it’s great,” he said of the new facility. “It modernizes everything. Every bit of money the city of Gulfport has put into the marina has come back three- and four-fold monetarily.”
Added Yacht Club Commodore Lee Nell: “This is now a building Gulfport can be proud of.”