Column: Hoosier Hills Marina enjoying new ownershipJuly 22, 2019
Column by Larry LaGrange
I’ve been a fan of winter-spring outdoor shows for a long time. Years ago, a nice fishing/boating/camping show was held at Roberts Stadium in Evansville. More recently, Louisville’s Freedom Hall has put on an excellent display of all things outdoors. This past spring my youngest son Justin and I decided to slip down to Owensboro’s Convention Center to see what their event offered.
The venue is smallish. There were a few displays of interest — several lures, some interesting outdoor products, and a few boats. The speaker while we were there was discussing river catfish, which is okay but not one of my primary interests. I did make two booth contacts which made the whole trip worthwhile though.
One fellow with the QUGA (Quail and Upland Game Association) was a club member down in Kentucky. I’m part of the local Patoka Hills group, so we struck up a chat. He said he regularly crosses the river and finds quail in southern Perry County down near the river. I had no idea any bobwhite existed anywhere in Perry County. We made plans to get together this season.
Another booth held Victor Polen and Rebecca Masters, the new owners of Hoosier Hills Marina on Patoka Lake. I had a pleasant talk with these friendly folks about their new venture.
Rebecca had been in nursing. Victor had worked in the automotive industry for 30 years. Victor said that this was the third time he had considered purchasing a marina.
“Each time before either a job change or the economy caused a delay,” he said. “This time we took a full year to focus on marinas in the Midwest and Florida; we visited nearly 50 marinas until we found one that was perfect for us.”
Rebecca focuses on the store and restaurant, the houseboat and pontoon rentals, and the cleaning crew. Victor’s areas include boat sales, the dock, the boat slips, boat maintenance of their fleet, and projects.
I thought with all that is involved in a marina, buying such a big operation is taking the plunge in a big way. So I asked why they would take such a step.
“Love for the water and being around boats and boaters,” Rebecca said. “People typically boat to relax and enjoy time with their family. That is our focus at Hoosier Hills marina, to enable families to enjoy the lake. This has been very rewarding since the start, and we have met so many people who love boating like we do.”
Rebecca also claims her place has the best pizza around, in addition to subs, wings, nachos, strombolis, breadsticks, ice cream, and more.
In the water enjoyment category, they have rental boats that range from 14 feet jon boats to nice pontoons. They offer a double decker, twin slide pontoon, a Manitou Tritoon for skiing or water sports, and 4, 5, and 6-bedroom houseboat rentals. Hoosier Hills is also a dealer for Manitou Pontoons, Yamaha and Suzuki outboards, Westerbeke Generators, and is a Certified Hydrohoist dealer. They carry O’Brien Watersports gear, feature a fully stocked marina, and have live bait and a wealth of supplies. They offer winterization, shrink wrapping, summerization, boat launching, and concierge services (filling the boat with gas, and boat coverage and removal).
“We continue to look at adding more and more services as customers provide feedback,” Rebecca adds. “Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for everyone in the family to enjoy the water when they have a slip here or if renting or buying a boat. It’s about the quality time on the water.”
Here are some cost figures, with fuel being additional: a basic pet friendly pontoon is $100 a day. Their nice pontoons are $175 a day. The Tritoon for skiing and tubing is $300 a day. They have a double decker with twin slides for $365 a day. The houseboat rates depend on the season and which boat is chosen. All rates are on their website, www.hoosierhillsmarina.com.
Summer is fading, but lots of good boating weather is still on the way. Victor and Rebecca start ramping down a bit into late September, but until then they’re open 8 a.m. till 6 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 8 to 8 on Friday and Saturday.
“In the offseason we will reduce the days and hours for having the store open,” Rebecca said, “but we are open by appointment throughout the winter. Any time someone needs something they just need to call and we will set up a time to meet them. In the winter we can winterize and store your boat or move it to your storage location and start the process again in the summer. The customer does not have to maintain or launch the boat, and so on. If he or she wants to maximize their water time and minimize their work time, we are here to make that happen.”
Some people you meet you just immediately like and wish good things for. That would be true for Rebecca and Victor. Check them out near the Lick Fork ramp.
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