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2016 Mar Apr Marina World

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  • Marine
  • Marinas
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  • Delegation
  • Products
  • Pedestals
  • Pontoons
  • Applicants
  • Economic
  • Completed
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TALKING SHOP The Spit in Mosman, Sydney, underwent a multi-million dollar transformation in September 2015. D’Albora Marinas is the largest marina group in Australia and with Bolton at the helm is defying the logic that large companies become risk averse, complacent and behind the times. d’Albora Marinas is one of the most innovative operators in Australia and in any part of the world. Robert Wilkes (RW): What are the advantages of a large, seven marina system? Brett Bolton (BB): There are definite advantages. Each member (d’Albora refers to its customers as members) has reciprocal privileges at any d’Albora marina and can stay as long as a month at no additional charge. As a member stays longer with us over the years their reciprocal rights increase. Our marinas are in great locations and they provide a wide range of boating experiences from inner harbour sites in Sydney and Melbourne to destination marinas in cruising grounds. RW: How has your policy of reciprocal privileges changed the social climate of the marinas? BB: Members make friends and form groups. They’ll cruise with ten to 20 boats to a rendezvous at another marina. They create a vibrant social network within the marina that we love to see, a society. When you have that, your marina is well beyond the old notion of a parking lot for boats. RW: What else adds value to your products and services to help d’Albora stand out from its competition? BB: We have three key selling features. Reciprocal berthing is one of them. Next, we guarantee the lowest fuel prices to our members when they buy fuel at our marinas. Our third key feature is Dockmaster Assist. When a member is leaving his slip or returning, an employee is there to help, to make things easier. He’ll handle lines, load provisions, whatever is needed. RW: You have a renovation programme. Tell us about it. BB: d’Albora is making significant investments in all our assets. We just completed a AU million refurbishment programme for The Spit on Sydney’s lower North Shore. The renovation included the latest Bellingham Marine floating concrete docks with wide pontoons. We increased the number of berths to 200, and of course, they are much larger slips than were needed 30 years ago. We have a new premium berthing arm and we can handle superyachts to 40m (131ft). We improved access and egress, installed faster fuelling, extensive CCTV and added new leisure spaces. We’re committed to enhancing our infrastructure and to being the industry leader in facilities and in services. We have long range refurbishment plans at all our sites. We plan to renovate three additional marinas in the next two to three years. RW: What is your strategy going forward as you renovate marinas? How do you lead in new technologies and adapt to new trends? BB: This is another advantage that d’Albora has as a large, multi-marina operation. We have had a programme of biannual customer surveys for several years now, and we just completed a strategic branding exercise that included a significant market research component. The results of that work are just now going into implementation. In terms of specific programmes, we’re about halfway through an d’Albora Marina Cabarita Point is a 91-berth hidden gem, centrally located to Sydney Harbour on the Parramatta River. www.marinaworld.com - March/April 2016 23

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