MILWAUKEE – The new owners of LaPrade’s Marina on Lake Burton, Georgia are investing in upgrades and an improved level of service at the iconic property, which will be managed by F3 Marina, a Milwaukee-based marina management firm.
Keel Funds, an Atlanta-based investment firm recently purchased the well-known marina that consists of 117 wet slips, 25 dry slips, fuel, a full-service restaurant, Tiki bar, boat sales and service. The new owners look to add additional slips, a second restaurant, and improved facility upgrades.
“Our strategy is to deliver an exceptional experience to all visitors of LaPrade’s. F3 Marina has the skills and experience to deliver this level of service and provide assistance to us as we continue our upgrades of the operation,” said Chris Carlton, managing partner with Keel Funds.
“Lake Burton is a destination for a wide variety of people from hunters to high-wealth individuals with homes on Lake Burton. They expect a certain experience and we need to deliver,” added Joel Shapiro, managing partner with Keel Funds.
Bill Boden, managing partner with Keel Funds, commented, “We are excited to take LaPrade’s into its next great phase. With a long-term focus, we plan to strategically invest resources into LaPrade’s so it continues to be the exceptional destination it has been for generations.”
“We are excited to work with the Keel Funds team on such a unique project,” said John Matheson, president of F3 Marina, “They have a vision for the marina that is a perfect fit for our skillset. They also understand this market well and know that by investing in the service and marina infrastructure they will create loyalty.”
The origin of LaPrade’s Marina dates back to 1925 when Georgia Power formed Lake Burton by building the Lake Burton Dam for power generation. John LaPrade, a local landowner, created a camp for workers building the dam that evolved into a rustic fish camp with cabins, a restaurant, and marina.
The new owners are keeping the same rustic feel in design while at the same time bringing the latest in marina management, service and technology to the operation.
“The owners are respecting the relaxed and rustic feel of LaPrade’s while providing a high-end experience,” Matheson said. “We are taking a critical look at every aspect of the boater experience to see how we can make it better. For example, if hand-held technology can shave 30 seconds off the time it takes to fuel, that is valuable time to a boater that wants to be out on the water on a short weekend.”
Boaters can expect changes beginning the 2018 boating season with improved service and facility upgrades.
“We are putting money into improving the existing physical assets along with expansion of docks, adding to the pontoon boat rental fleet and other improvements that will be announced as they are finalized,” Carlton said.
Keel Funds, founded in 2012 in Atlanta, is an investment firm focused on value-add investments in the real estate space, as well as selective investments in the private equity space. It currently has multiple investments in these arenas.
F3 Marina is based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and specializes in all aspects of marina management, consulting and development, for marinas in the U.S. and abroad. They currently manage 3,000 slips in Georgia, Florida, Illinois, New York, Wisconsin and Panama.