MARQUETTE’S OFFICIAL FLAGSHIP is up for sale.
The Coaster ll, the 43 foot long schooner that’s been docked here in Marquette for the last ten years and has given tourists memorable rides along the coast of Lake Superior, is listed at $126,000.
Captain Niko Economides says he’s selling it because of his health concerns. His son actually captained the boat last summer.
Economides emphasizes that sales like this frequently take a long time to finalize, and at this point he and his family still plan to sail the boat for Superior Odyssey Charter this summer.
The schooner has always been a side business for Economides whose primary job is crafting wooden furniture. He and his family plan to stay in Marquette.
Will the Coaster ll, which was built in 1933, stay here? Maybe not. Economides says New Englanders seem to place a greater value on historical vessels than folks in the U.P. do.
HOUSEBOATS IN MARQUETTE’S harbor?
That’s still a possibility for this summer. Boat builder Chad Lewis has started building the first of at least two houseboats that he’d like to tie to the ore dock downtown. He’s still negotiating with the city over the proposed plan.
Even if he doesn’t get permission for the ore dock tie-up, Lewis says he fully intends to locate the boats in the mooring field near the Coast Guard Station in Marquette’s harbor. The houseboats would then be rented out to tourists for a distinctive U.P. experience.
The houseboats will be essentially fiberglass pontoon boats, 40 feet long, 12 feet wide, with the capacity to sleep four people, and entertain 10-12.
Is there a market for houseboats here? Lewis, who owns the Lewis Boat Shop, will find out. He may be selling some to interested parties downstate. As far as he knows, there are no other houseboats on the Michigan Great Lakes.
He’s got other plans, too. He’s moving his boat-building operation to KI Sawyer. It’s there that he’ll build the houseboats, along with the Ensigns (the boats sailing in the Wednesday evening regattas), for which his boat shop already has a national reputation.
Another visionary, little business with a determination to become bigger.
YA GOTTA FEEL for Ellen Sargent, the manager at the Westwood Mall.
She’s doing her best to attract tenants to the troubled mall, and then she finds out that one of the anchors, MC Sports–one of the star tenants–is likely closing down because the company is going to be declaring bankruptcy.
The local store was actually “store of the year” for corporate MC Sports the last two years. It did very well here.
Doesn’t matter. Sargent doesn’t yet know when the store will close its doors and she says there are rumors that someone may come in at the last moment, buy the chain, and keep the stores open. We can only hope.
A crazy trend here. Gander Mountain to close down. Same with MC Sports apparently. And Perani’s Hockey World also left town.
What the hell? Isn’t Marquette supposed to be a mecca for outdoor sports and recreation?
NEW SHOPS POPPING up downtown. Seems to happen every year at this time as the snows begin to melt and hopes begin to rise.
The latest is “blackbird,” a little boutique next to Elegant Seagulls on Third Street. Clothes, jewelry, arts and crafts. Eclectic.
Owner Brett Miller promises that much of it will be local stuff. Her mother runs a similar shop in Grand Marais.
Brett, herself, left the U.P. for Denver for a while but then was drawn back to the lake. We’ve heard this story before.
Brett had a “soft opening” on Tuesday–so soft that when a visitor entered “blackbird” that afternoon, she looked at him as if to say, “What are you doing here? How’d you find out about us?”
Well, now everybody knows.
HOW CAN YOU tell when a town has become a center for the counter-culture? Maybe when it attracts a piercing shop?
If so, Marquette has arrived.
The Aurora Piercing Boutique has opened up right next to blackbird. Owner Chris Gonyou, who himself is a work of art, has been at the business of piercing for several years.
He says the Marquette market is absolutely ripe for a piercing shop.
Holy crap. This ain’t your parents’ Marquette anymore.
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