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Are two marina hotels too many for Duluth?

People will be able to arrive at the Pier B Resort by boat and dock at its marina, whether it’s for a stay at the hotel or to dine at its Silo Restaurant.

But Pier B Resort won’t be Duluth’s first marina hotel.

The Park Point Marina Inn was the first, opening last May at the Harbor Cove Marina on Park Point’s harborside. It has 10 docks for hotel guests.

The hotel’s owners are now planning an addition to boost its 68-room count to about 83.

While co-owner Terry Anderson said occupancy was good last summer, the inn didn’t get many people arriving by boat.

“We didn’t expect that many, and we still haven’t gotten a lot of that activity,” he said. “We do have a sailboat down there permanently that gives tours and a charter fishing boat there to take people out.”

Anderson sees no advantage to being the first marina hotel in Duluth, though he admits they haven’t marketed those available docks to boaters much.

“The draw to our place is the seclusion and the views,” he said. “It’s more the views of the marina and the bay and the Coast Guard cutter that sits right outside your windows rather than the actual use of the marina.”

So is there enough boating business for two marina hotels in Duluth?

Anderson doesn’t think so.

“There’s very little business for boaters to come,” he said. “The only place for them to come is from Bayfield, and we haven’t seen much of that. I don’t think there’s a big call, a big need for people to come by boat.”

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, however, has determined there is a need for a transient marina in Duluth and had plans to build one just west of the Pier B Resort.

“We have a feeling that once we’re here, it will be utilized,” Pier B developer Alex Giuliani said of his hotel’s marina.

Moreover, the Pier B Resort will have something the Park Point Marina Inn doesn’t — a restaurant and lounge. That can be a big draw for people out boating who want to stop somewhere for dinner and a drink, Anderson said

“It will be a big plus for Pier B,” he said. “We don’t really offer those services.”

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