Ayer’s Cliff loses marina following failed negotiations

By Matthew McCully

Last week Marina Massawippi owner Alex Marcotte packed up his rental boats, docks and boat launches and left the 11-acre beachfront property after contract negotiations with the Massawippi Regional Park Board (La régie du Parc régional Massawippi) went south. “They wanted the whole pie,” Marcotte said, explaining the régie wanted to increase rent and take away two revenue streams on a one-year deal with no guarantee. The régie wanted to claim the revenue from the parking lot and the boat launches, he explained.
The property was sold four years ago to the régie by les Pères Servites for roughly $1.5 million.
While five municipalities (Ayer’s Cliff, Hatley Township, Sainte-Catherine-de-Hatley, Hatley, North Hatley) make up the régie, North Hatley opted out of the land purchase, which resulted in Ayer’s Cliff assuming two-fifths of the cost. Rather than take on the management of the beach, in May of 2017 the régie signed a three-year contract with Marcotte, who paid $15,000 for the concession of the property as well as $10,000 in rent his first year of operation, and $15,000 for the two following years. According to Marcotte, he invested roughly $400,000 in the operation, installing boat slips for locals to dock, boat launches and he also purchased a number of pontoons and other types of boats for rental.

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