PUNTA GORDA, Fla. - The City of Punta Gorda wants to save boaters money and help boost the local economy, by making better use of what the city already has.
After five years of petitioning the state, Laishley Park Municipal Marina can increase the number of slips from 85 to well over a hundred.
"It's just excellent, just a wonderful idea. This is a great marina and it's just gonna make more pleasant people hanging around," said Destinations Boat Clubs owner, Rick Towns.
Keith Smith is a local boat repairman, who says a better use of slip space is good for business, "I think as long as the marina can handle it and the facilities can handle it, then the more the better."
The Laishley Park Municipal Marina currently has 85 permanent boat slips. Now, they will have room for 142 permanent slips and 172 during special events like fishing tournaments.
"It'll be great for all the businesses, it'll bring in so much more revenue in the area also," said Towns.
City officials say keeping more boaters docked during the winter months will helps keep prices low year-round.
"Right now, this is the season when everyone is here. This is when marinas make their money. We have to turn people away. Now we don't have to turn people away with more slip," said City Manager, Howard Kunik.
So how will they accommodate the extra boats and people?
"We've applied for some grant funds to purchase a pump out boat and we'll also be able to have live-aboards once we get the pump out boat," said Kunik.
The city is is waiting in the state to sign the lease before they can use the slips to their full capacity. Once that lease is signed and returned to the city, the added slip space will be ready for boaters to rent.