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City Needs More Boat Slips

By Rachelle Bowden in News on Sep 27, 2005 12:05PM

A new report says that the Chicago Park District could raise a whole lot of cash by further developing harbors for boat slips, especially by Navy Pier and Loyola University. Right now there are about 5,000 100-boat slips downtown but they're about 98% full. The report estimates that over the next 20 years we're going to have about 3,000 more boats and nowhere to put them.

The Park District expects that it'll clear about $10 million this year alone from current boat-slip fees. A lot of cash, but a lot more is out there to rake in. The District has awaiting list of 1,000 boats for the most desireable slips. Add some more good slips where people want them and you've got a crapload more dough. They say that the owner of a 30-ft boat, for example, would pay around $4,000/season for a downtown slip.

2005_09_marina.gifBecause Chicagoist's brain has been rotted away by hours and hours locked in our room playing SimCity, in our minds adding a new slips is as easy as checking the budget, choosing Marina, and plopping them down in a free water area, then sitting back and listening to the crowds cheer. Easy money. But we wonder forreal if there's space for more slips downtown.

If you're interested in the future of Chicago's harbors (or if you want to expand this cash cow to help out your local park), there's one in a series of meetings tonight at 6pm at the South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Dr. No decisions will be made at least until January, but some things, like adding slots at Navy Pier, seem to be no brainers. Even to those of us who's brains are SimCity mush.