Is Aramark trying to.....

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Dave I.

Well-Known Member
Hello everyone. My small business has been getting calls from people just wanting to walk away from their houseboats due to Aramarks new and increased storage fees and partners are dropping like flies.

From the prices I have heard, is Aramark trying to shut down the houseboat industry on the lake? Just heard a 53' Kayot in a covered slip runs a tune of over $900 per month!

As of right now, I may be getting two houseboats to scrap out because the owners just want out of the whole mess of house boating.

Now, if there are others that are thinking of doing the same, give me a call if you want to be treated fairly. If this is deemed advertising Wayne, please delete. I'm trying not to though. :)

I have seen more and more of people dropping out of house boating because it's gotten too expensive every month. Doesn't Aramark see they are doing more harm than good with these newer rates.

Is this happening lake wide or just up here in the Northern part of the lake?
 

SeaLegs

Well-Known Member
Same down here. It's $10 a foot per month for a bouy and probably will rise next year. I think they trying to push out the older and smaller boats and create more demand for the rentals. IMHO
 

Dave I.

Well-Known Member
And just got word that the Halls Crossing docks are full of cockroaches, falling apart and just full of trash. Paying $900 a month for storing a 48' boat just so it can get infested with roaches? Keep in mind that the rental boats are also parked on the same docks.

Just sounds like negligence and greed on both the NPS and Aramark's part.

One houseboat owner feels Aramark is just taking the money and running with it, and from what I am hearing, I don't doubt it.

I'm really surprised there hasn't been any word about class action lawsuits for neglect and price gouging.

I can take only so many boats for salvage before I run out of room, but still have room for anyone that just wants to walk away from one.
 

Ryan

Well-Known Member
Not trying to take away from anyone's way to make a living, but it is pretty silly to just walk away from a boat. There is obviously some value in it. I was involved in an ownership group whose houseboat sank a few years back. I still was able to sell the boat (fairly easily) for $25,000.

As for Aramark, I am not a fan of how they run the concession. But has anyone looked through their financials to see what (if anything) they actually profit from the lake?

We have had this conversation on here before. It seems to me that I remember this is the first time in something like 15 years that Aramark actually raised fees.

And maybe I am in the minority (I don't think I am), but the increase in fees this year really seems pretty small to me. We have a small houseboat, with a small ownership group. And I think that the increase worked out to much less than $400/year for me. Considering the "all in" cost for me to visit the lake each year, $400 doesn't even come close to making me consider changing anything.
 

BartsPlace

Moderator
Staff member
It's easy to be upset with a distant and non-visible bureaucracy. I do it too - and sometimes it's justified. Aramark is a large and complex enterprise on and off of the lake. There are significant costs just to keep the operation open for business. I wish there were a bit more competition involved to incentivize them at times, but I'll be the first to say that some of their people, real people at the docks, regularly go above and beyond to help me, several of my friends, and other customers over the years. Just this summer I had a kid re-open the fuel dock after hours so we could fill up the bowrider and to get back to the houseboat (down lake) without risking running on fumes. There are lots of other examples.

Anyway, there have been no other bidders (apparently) to run the lake concession in recent history. We're running on a many-years-old contract between NPS and Aramark. I would love to pay less, but I don't feel that they are trying to take advantage of anyone. Again, without competition, there's not the same incentive to be lean and mean and priced competitively. I feel like they're generally doing the best they can given the current circumstances.

I'm just grateful to have the support systems in place to spend the time that I can at the lake that I love.
 

birdsnest

Well-Known Member
I worked for Aramark for 10 years at stateline rental dock, the largest rental facility on the lake. The running joke was that Aramark owned the concession for the use of The Aramark Bigshots cause the money was peanuts in the International Aramark Market. I was there for a couple of the times some new potential concessionares came to check out the facilities for a chance to bid. Never heard from them again. No fan of Aramark either but you got somebody else?
 

Dave I.

Well-Known Member
I am not trying to get free houseboats as I would never own one on the lake. I am not contacting people asking if they want to get rid of their boats so those of you that are taking it that way, please don't read into it so far. People are calling me asking if I will salvage their boats because they just want to walk away from them and this is no exaggeration. Yes, I do agree they have value, but in the past 2 years in business, I have had probably a dozen people ask if I know of anyone that wants to buy a houseboat but I have had ZERO people ask if I know of any houseboats for sale. The truth is that salvaging a boat properly takes a lot of time and work. I really don't want to get into that business but people are contacting me regarding it. They are asking for a service that I can provide. Look at any of my advertising. None of it says "Salvage". And believe me, there is not much money in salvage unless you're doing it on a grand scale.

In fact, a houseboat owner I talked to yesterday is pulling his boat out of the water and is just going to leave it in dry storage until it sells. Yes, people are just walking away from their boats and the major blame I am hearing is because of the Aramark rates for on lake storage. If you don't think the rates are to high, that's great! But that is not what I am hearing from many others.

I'm not trying to get into the bureaucracy of Aramark either. Aramark is a world wide company and anyone that thinks that Lake Powell is a major funder of the company is blind. And you're right, there has been no other bidders to run the lake, but on the other hand, from what I hear, there is no longer a contract between Aramark and the NPS. I hear nothing but complaints about Aramark, but honestly, I don't go down there to deal with them. I love the lake, don't (or won't) own a houseboat, I bring my own fuel, etc. so my dealings with Aramark is minimal.

So, if any of you that are criticizing want to buy a houseboat, I know of several that are on the market and you can probably get them pretty cheap. Now is your chance to buy at least 3 to keep them on the water. Otherwise, they will just be sitting in dry storage. And the owners don't want to deal with the lawsuits that accompany the abandonment of a vessel on the lake or in dry storage.

So, my original question was if people are seeing this same situation lake wide regarding the houseboats? Not whether people believe that others are walking away from their houseboats. Stay focused people. haha
 

Dave I.

Well-Known Member
I know someone that is looking for a houseboat to move to Navajo. Email me info of said boats, and I will pass them on. the_big_dogs@msn.com.
I will do that. I know these boats have value and hate to see people giving up on them. But, that is what I'm seeing. I will send ya some info on the boats that I know for sure that are for sale.
 

potter water

Well-Known Member
Personally, the fewer HB's that are at the docks and on the lake the better. HB's place a very heavy load on the waters of lake Powell in terms of anchoring, pins in the sandstone, pollution that is uncontrolled and sometimes uncontrollable when you have 30 people in one spot on the shore. I've yet to have overnighted in a cove which also had a HB in it that I didn't see soap scum floating across the water in the morning and evening and I can only guess what else is concentrating in such nice smaller coves. Yes, I'm for an open lake though I dislike HB's and PWC's and wake boats. I feel bad for folks or groups who've put a bundle into those boats and end up taking a big financial hit. I imagine the ultimate outcome will be a thinning of owners who can't really handle such high costs for a few weeks on the lake. But there will always be the family or person with big bucks to whom 900 bucks a month to slip a HB will be a drop in the bucket. If those who are marginally funding a HB love the lake, they will do the more sensible thing of getting a small family of 4 or 6 trailerable cruiser.
 

ROSCOELAB

Well-Known Member
What you all are forgetting is that Aramark went public a few years ago, they now answer to shareholders and a management group that's responsibility it is to look at the bottom line, not what the service is, but the bottom line. over the last two years they have lost so much money in the adventure/vacation side of the business with the hurricane damage and loss of facilities in the gulf coast this group has decided that profits need to be made up somewhere. I was told this was the deciding factor on the raise of all pricing on all western states concessions, from Powell to Yosemite, top to bottom. its not something that local management has a control on any more, pricing is dictated much higher up now wither or not the area can support the hikes. NPS has joined them with the price hikes for the parks, you see that the most popular have doubled their entrance prices for next year.
 

Dave I.

Well-Known Member
What you all are forgetting is that Aramark went public a few years ago, they now answer to shareholders and a management group that's responsibility it is to look at the bottom line, not what the service is, but the bottom line. over the last two years they have lost so much money in the adventure/vacation side of the business with the hurricane damage and loss of facilities in the gulf coast this group has decided that profits need to be made up somewhere. I was told this was the deciding factor on the raise of all pricing on all western states concessions, from Powell to Yosemite, top to bottom. its not something that local management has a control on any more, pricing is dictated much higher up now wither or not the area can support the hikes. NPS has joined them with the price hikes for the parks, you see that the most popular have doubled their entrance prices for next year.
You are right about that Roscolab. But, Aramark is so big that one would think they could raise the price a few dollars everywhere instead of doubling prices in just one region. But just my opinion.
 

BartsPlace

Moderator
Staff member
I know of several that are on the market and you can probably get them pretty cheap.
Maybe you could point the owners to the Yard Sale forum here at Wayne's Words? They can post details directly or just link to where ever their boat is listed (yachtworld, boattrader, ksl, etc). There are many here that are interested and/or know of others who may be interested.
 

Squirrel

Well-Known Member
Dave is in the business to make a living. Just like everyone, they will barter to get the best price they can on anything. If someone wants to sell something below market price, so be it. Sq
 

Ryan

Well-Known Member
Where and on what did Aramark double prices?

They didn’t on our slip.

The only other service I use is Pootopia. That went up around 20%.

What am I missing?
 

Dave I.

Well-Known Member
I have pointed out other venues to sell houseboats but when the customer says, "I just want to get rid of it and be done with it as of yesterday", why should I argue the point that it could be sold. Like I said, people are coming to me with these offers. Not the other way around.

And with doubling their prices, please look back at Roscolab's comment . It's talking about entrance fees.
 

Dave I.

Well-Known Member
Dave is in the business to make a living. Just like everyone, they will barter to get the best price they can on anything. If someone wants to sell something below market price, so be it. Sq
Squirrel has seen my small operation and he knows that me transporting a houseboat is something that I am not set up for, therefore, trying to do a houseboat salvage is not an easy task. I have no intentions into getting into the houseboat salvage business, but if someone is going to drop one into my lap, what other small business would turn it away? Really?
 

Ryan

Well-Known Member
I have pointed out other venues to sell houseboats but when the customer says, "I just want to get rid of it and be done with it as of yesterday", why should I argue the point that it could be sold. Like I said, people are coming to me with these offers. Not the other way around.

And with doubling their prices, please look back at Roscolab's comment . It's talking about entrance fees.
It would be silly for you to turn a houseboat away. Wether you salvage or flip is up to you. I have no bones with that. In fact, I’ve been known to flip a boat or two myself.

I guess I’m just confused on the “doubling” cost argument. I was under the impression someone was accusing Aramark of doing that when now the concern is with the NPS and entrance fees. Two completely separate issues.
 
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