By Carol Vaughn —
Blue Water, an Ocean City, Md. development company co-founded by Jack and Todd Burbage, has purchased Capt. Bob’s Marina on Chincoteague.
The five-acre waterfront property is on Main Street, on the southern part of Chincoteague Island.
Owner Donna Rae Roeske announced in a Dec. 22, 2021, post on the Capt. Bob’s Marina Facebook page the sale had been settled on.
“This is the most difficult post I have ever written. After 61 years of servicing you, our customers that have become valued friends, we closed our doors on Monday — not for a season but for a lifetime. We settled on the sale of Capt. Bob’s Marina. There comes a time when life catches up with you (age, health & your ability to work in the capacity that you’ve done for 55 years),” Roeske wrote, in part.
A Feb. 11 post on the page said the marina is no longer in business and thanked followers “for allowing us to serve your fishing and boating needs for 62 years.”
Blue Water announced in a press release it had purchased the Chincoteague marina and Pier Point Marina in Dewey Beach, Del.
According to the deed filed in Accomack County Circuit Court in December, the property sold to Blue Marina VA LLC for $2.3 million.
“Blue Water plans to make marina upgrades and property enhancements while still upholding the traditions these properties have developed for more than 60 years, with both waterfront properties being viewed by the developer as great opportunities to continue to elevate the water sports and recreational activities in each town,” according to the release.
Blue Water also owns the Chincoteague Island KOA campground; Fairfield Inn & Suites Chincoteague Island Waterfront; Maui Jack’s Waterpark; and a new development project, Sun Outdoors Chincoteague Bay, which is scheduled to open in 2023 — all on Chincoteague — as well as Sunset Beach Hotel and Chespeake Bay KOA in Northampton County.
Capt. Bob’s Marina had been in business on Chincoteague since 1960, according to the release.
“While still in the early planning stages, Blue Water is excited to offer outdoor enthusiasts visiting the area the amenities they know and love along with exciting new additions,” the release stated.
“This marina has a long tradition of serving fishing and outdoor enthusiasts with the service and expertise that only comes from hard work, dedication, and a love for and deep knowledge of the beautiful island this marina calls home,” said Todd Burbage, Blue Water chief executive officer.
”We look forward to carrying on that tradition by applying Blue Water’s standard of service to this unique marina and our own deep love for the water. We are thrilled to be involved in another waterfront project in Chincoteague and for the opportunity to provide guests with a variety of ways to connect with nature and enjoy the natural beauty and wonder of the island,” Burbage said.
According to the company website, Blue Water owns six campgrounds, twelve hotels and three attractions, with properties in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Maine, and New Hampshire.
Roeske offered the sell Capt. Bob’s Marina to the town of Chincoteague in 2017.
“Chincoteague once was known as a quaint fishing village and in a lot of circles we still are known as a quaint fishing village — and we need to build up on that concept again. We need to have that as a plan B,” Roeske said at the July 2017 Chincotegue Town Council meeting.
The marina was for sale for $2 million at the time.
The marina had 144 boat slips, some of which needed repairs, Roeske said then.
Roeske’s stepfather, Capt. Bob Pohlmeyer, started the business as Capt. Bob’s Fishing Camp almost 62 years ago, she wrote in the Facebook post.
When Pohlmeyer died in 1995, he left the business to Roeske, who changed the name to Capt. Bob’s Marina.
Roeske thanked her employees for their dedication and customers for their patronage over the years.
Roeske at the 2017 Town Council meeting called Assateague’s beach “plan A” for the town’s economy, but noted frequent traffic backups to get to the beach in summer could negatively affect tourists’ perception.
“We need to look at another plan that will keep these tourists coming to us and be happy about it,” she said, adding the town has “a strong recreational angler community out there that wants to come to Chincoteague.”
She said the purchase of Capt. Bob’s could pay for itself “in a short period of time.”
The consensus among council members at the time was that terms offered for the sale were not workable for the town.