New operator sought for Little River Marina at Thurmond Lake

  • Follow Local Business

One of Thurmond Lake’s oldest businesses – Little River Marina and Family Resort in Columbia County – could change hands as early as next year, according to the Army Corps of Engineers, which opted not to renew the operator’s lease.

Back | Next
The 129-acre site, with docks, boat storage, cabins and other amenities, has been operated by Pam Bugg and her family since 1986. It is one of six commercial marinas at the lake authorized by the corps when the project was designed in the 1940s.  JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
The 129-acre site, with docks, boat storage, cabins and other amenities, has been operated by Pam Bugg and her family since 1986. It is one of six commercial marinas at the lake authorized by the corps when the project was designed in the 1940s.

The 129-acre site, with docks, boat storage, cabins and other amenities, has been operated by Pam Bugg and her family since 1986. It is one of six commercial marinas at the lake authorized by the corps when the project was designed in the 1940s.

Bugg, who also has the business up for sale, has been notified that her lease, which expires Dec. 27, will not be renewed, said Scott Hyatt, the lake’s operations project manager.

“In this case the corps has not been satisfied with the current business and we want to exercise our right to go out and find an operator who would better meet the demands of the public in the area,” he said.

Bugg said she disagrees with the corps’ decision and has always complied with everything that was asked of her.

“I was told I was in compliance and there is nothing I had not done, and that they just want something newer, bigger and better,” she said. “This is Columbia County and it’s growing and they just want something with bigger money behind it.”

The marina, she said, has always made efforts to cater to all segments of the community.

“We’ve held fireworks displays, weddings, retreats and seminars, and I’m all about families,” she said. “I’ve put my heart and soul – and every bit of money I’ve ever had – and now I’m being forced to walk away.”

Corps officials say the business will close when the lease expires and a notice of availability will be issued in early January to encourage potential operators to submit proposals.

The goal will be to identify a new operator by spring.

“We’d be looking for an operation focused on marina based services, boat storage, repair, fuel and gas docks,” Hyatt said. “If there are other aspects they want to look at, such as cabins or a restaurant, we’ll continue to look on that favorably.”

There is no way to predict when the area could reopen, he said.

“When the economy weakens, the boating industry is the one of the first to go and one of the last to come back,” he said. “The marina business is just as tough. It’s been a challenge to keep these kinds of businesses open.”

According to a marina brokerage Web site, MarinasForSale.com in Falmouth, Mass., the business is for sale and the asking price has been reduced to $1 million.

Other marinas at the lake are Rayesville, Tradewinds, Plum Branch Yacht Club, Savannah Lakes Village and Soap Creek. All are on corps lands leased to the marina operators.

Comments (9) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
REDRIDER
134
Points
REDRIDER 11/17/11 - 04:09 pm
1
0
I can here Tommy Shaw rolling

I can here Tommy Shaw rolling over.

Riverman1
90291
Points
Riverman1 11/17/11 - 04:33 pm
0
0
If they lost the permit how

If they lost the permit how does the business have any value?

rmwardsr
525
Points
rmwardsr 11/17/11 - 05:47 pm
0
0
Riverman, it's kind of like

Riverman, it's kind of like this. You know when one of our local dealerships bought another one, and closed down the current location of the one he bought? Does that mean he bought the building or the business? Then along comes another one and opens another auto dealership in the same location. In accounting there is a term that is called Goodwill, and it does not refer to the local Goodwill stores, but what it does mean is the value of the business to the community over and above the book value of the business. In effect that is all that will be bought and sold in this situation. However, it does seem unfair that the corps would allow her permit to expire knowing that she is trying to sale the business.

Riverman1
90291
Points
Riverman1 11/17/11 - 05:59 pm
0
0
RMwardsr, I appreciate your

RMwardsr, I appreciate your response. I get what you mean and don't believe the owners were treated fairly, but they have to leave the premises when the permit is given to someone else. Why would these new folks pay anything?

They could simply say sorry because they intend to start a new business there. That's the kind of business where it's the location that means everything and not the business. In any case, if I'm right, it's a sad situation for the current owners.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 11/17/11 - 06:09 pm
0
0
I agree with River,

I agree with River, realistictly, there is really nothing to sell at this location, with the exception of the dock leases. They would be worth some cash value. As to structures, the stuff is old and it sounds as if the Corp is looking for a big investor to come in and mow the place down and begin again on the land.

As to the work ethic of the current ownership, Pam Bragg is one of the nicest and most hardworking women in the CSRA. She has truly given it her all. With low water, and the struggling economy, my hope is that soon she will see this as the blessing that it truly is for her. Best of luck to you, Pam, may God open new doors for you. Your loyalty, kindness and dedication will be missed by many.

Crime Reports and Rewards TV
33
Points
Crime Reports and Rewards TV 11/17/11 - 07:38 pm
0
0
If you want to know if the

If you want to know if the government is fair, just ask the Indians...

We formally and publicly oppose this, and Thank Ms Bugg, and Mike too for many WONDERFUL YEARS of FREE FIREWORKS, and FAMILY Entertainment.
Best option is Ms Bugg FIND the new tenents and manage the Marina for them.
Thanks for all the memories...Hope there are many more:o)

PS i can hear Tommy Shaw and some of the James Gang roiling too:o0

nothin2show4it
120
Points
nothin2show4it 11/17/11 - 07:54 pm
0
0
What do you expect from our
Unpublished

What do you expect from our government. If they can't steal it from you one way then they will steal it from you another. It sounds more like a personal vendetta to me.

Bing0
14
Points
Bing0 11/18/11 - 02:52 am
0
0
This has a bad smell to it.

This has a bad smell to it. If Ms. Bugg has complied with everything that the Corp has asked of her, then she should not be ousted. When Federal law prohibits the ownership of the property, She should be allowed to stay at her pleasure not the whim of the US Army Corp of Engineers.
I would not be surprised in the least if the Corp did not already have a tenant for the lease and politics were behind this whole thing. There is another aspect to this situation; Consider how much money Ms. Bugg lost whenever the Corp was responsible for low water levels at the lake. That is only a side note and not exactly material to the situation but it is worth noting. I personally would not spend a penny on that operation without some real confidence that the lake levels would be managed properly though. Nor would I relocate my life and invest my resources and emotions in an operation that I could never hope to own that could be lost at the whim of a Federal Agency.

fburris
0
Points
fburris 11/18/11 - 07:18 am
0
0
That is why I would never

That is why I would never release. You can sink all the money you own into something, even the people that lease house lots on the lake, and NEVER have control over your own investment. About the only way to day a lease like this is like a 99 year lease, at least you will be gone from this earth when you see your hard work and investment taken from you.

Bing0
14
Points
Bing0 11/24/11 - 03:53 am
0
0
Justiceatlast: If what you

Justiceatlast:
If what you say is true, then the appropriate thing to do would be to post a link. I notice that the Corps did not cite any infractions.
Also, if this marina were on the other side of Little River Bridge, I seriously doubt there would be any problems.
Additionally, I did a Google search for "Pam Bugg" and Little River Marina with contempt of court and found nothing. This calls into question your assertions wouldn't you say?

Back to Top

Top headlines

Court rules in probation case

ATLANTA -- The Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision this morning concluding that it is legal for local courts to contract with private companies to supervise offenders on probation for minor ...
Search Augusta jobs