Park Service selects new group to run Oregon Inlet Marina

By on October 23, 2018

The marina was originally a tidal creek. In 1954 the National Park Service granted a concession to Capt. Toby Tillett, who dredged the basin and opened a bait shop that  eventually became Oregon Inlet Fishing Center. (NPS)

A newly-formed company has been chosen by the National Park Service to enter lease negotiations for the marina at Oregon Inlet, potentially bringing an end to a 45-year relationship with the current group running what’s known as the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center.

Oregon Inlet Marinas LLC has been selected over multiple proposals submitted this past summer to lease and operate the marina on the north shore of Oregon Inlet.

“The proposal judged best under the proposal selection criteria has been given an opportunity to negotiate a final lease agreeable to both the selected applicant and the NPS,” according to an NPS press release.

Oregon Inlet Marinas is managed by Russell C. King, according to the National Park Service. An article of organization was filed on Friday with the N.C. Secretary of State, listing only Andrew W. Howle as organizer.

The Park Service said proposals were evaluated by an independent panel of experts in commercial services from parks and offices outside of Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Selection was made by National Park Service Southeast Regional Director Bob Vogel, who was on the Outer Banks over the weekend for the opening of the renovated Wright Brothers National Memorial visitor center.

Oregon Inlet Fishing Center Inc. was formed in 1973 as a shareholder-owned corporation made up of captains and boat owners and has operated the marina ever since.

Its concession contract with the Park Service has been extended on an annual basis since 2000.

The facility includes a 60-slip marina; seven buildings totaling 7,369 square feet; about 7.4 acres of associated land area; a parking lot with about 220 spaces; six vessel fuel pumps, one vehicle fuel pump, and a fuel system and storage.

Stipulations in a June request for proposals included continuing marina slip rentals and services for charter fishing boats, headboats and tour boats, and providing regular maintenance and upkeep of the marina and facilities.

The request also called for “improvements necessary to ensure that a safe, sustainable, environmentally sound, and resilient marina bulkhead, or equivalent shoreline stabilization project, is implemented to allow for marina operations throughout the term of the lease.”

Outer Banks Group Management Analyst Sarah Merrill said details about the proposal from Oregon Inlet Marinas, LLC, was confidential while the negotiations were ongoing.

Merrill said information on the number of proposals and details about the other groups involved could also not be disclosed.

The Park Service said plans are to complete the lease negotiations by the end of the year.

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The only way I could invest in something like this where it would take you more than 25 years to recoup your money would be if I was a multi millionare and needed good tax write off and the rich get richer. That is how it is most likely gonna go down. I hope the new owner of the lease dosent have his family running the business like they did before. Or if they do the nps needs to have someone in there every day to watch every dime coming in and going out.