Spicer’s Marina sold
Groton ― Spicer’s Marina has sold to Epum Holdings, the same company that recently purchased Noank Shipyard.
John Gardiner, who ran Spicer’s Marina, located at 93 Marsh Road in Noank, with his brother, Bill Gardiner, said it will remain a full-service marina and there will be a smooth transition both for marina employees, who will be staying on, and customers.
“We feel blessed that we were able to achieve what we did,” said Gardiner about the business his family ran for about 60 years. He added that he wishes Epum and the management company, Oasis Marinas, the best of luck.
The sale was finalized at the end of the day Monday, Gardiner said.
Gardiner said he could not disclose the sale price, but said it was fair. The buyers would also not disclose the price but said it was more than $10 million.
The transaction information for Spicer’s Marina was not yet available Tuesday from the Town of Groton. Noank Shipyard was sold for in excess of $10 million, according to Harry Boardsen, whose family sold the 155-slip marina to Epum last month.
“We wanted to purchase Spicer's Marina because of the storied history of the property under the stewardship of the Gardiner family and its ideal location within the coastal Connecticut market,” Royden Cooper, partner at Epum Holdings, said in a statement. “We are looking to invest into modernizing the property so that it can continue to serve both the current community and the next generation of boaters.”
Epum Holdings is a family company based between Sarasota, Florida and Mystic that is looking to expand in New England, said Cooper. The company’s website lists marinas, including Old Harbor Marina in Clinton and Mystic Point Marina, and self-storage facilities.
Oasis Marinas was hired by Epum Holdings to run the marina, said Tonja Bristow, a regional manager for Oasis.
“We value what the Gardiners did here, and we understand how important that is to the community here,” said Bristow.
Gardiner said he and his brother grew up helping out at the marina, which has about 450 slips and about 140 moorings, and talking about the business at the dining room table night after night. The brothers ran the business as a family with their father, William Spicer, the owner, and the brothers have been running it since about six years ago, when their father had health issues, Gardiner said.
The family has been approached for years by groups that wanted to purchase the marina, but the family didn’t think the groups would offer the same quality that the family-run business has been able to give to its customers, Gardiner explained. The family never entertained any real offers from anybody until Epum approached the family about a year ago.
Gardiner said Epum, also a family business, understands what it is to run a family business, so the family felt comfortable making a deal. Gardiner also said that it was getting to the point where the brothers were interested in exploring some other things in life, other than boats.
“It’s been a great time,” Gardiner said. “We’ve had wonderful experiences there. We’ve had great customers who over the years have really become more friends than customers.”
Gardiner said the success of his family’s long-running marina is a testament to the work the family put into it and the loyalty the family showed to customers and employees, as well as the loyalty customers and employees showed the marina.
“Customers really saw us as a family and we knew customers by their first name and that’s how we ran the business,” he said.