“We are really going to miss our customers,” said Alan Battle, who owned the marina with his wife, Cindy.
Battle said the couple got married in November 1995, and heard the marina was for sale around the first of December 1995.
“We opened Jan. 1, 1996,” he said. “We did boat repairs, boat storage and sold parts and accessories for 18 years.”
Battle said the marina was one of the only places to special order items and get them in a timely manner.
“We were also the only place to stock an abundance of parts, accessories and water toys,” Cindy Battle said.
Alan Battle said the focus was on parts and repairs, instead of boat sales.
“We originally had a lease through 2016, and had planned to stay until then,” he said.
Cindy Battle said the couple received word on the second Saturday of October that they had seven days to clear out.
“We obtained a 10-day extension to contact our customers and finish the current boat repairs,” Alan Battle said. “The marina opened in 1965, and there were still things in the marina from when it opened.”
Alan Battle said the couple enjoys snow skiing in the winter and will take their planned trips, then in the spring prepare their house for sale.
“We will move to Florida three years ahead of schedule and be in the boating business in Panama City,” he said.
Alan Battle said the marina was also a campground on the Alabama Scenic River Trail.
“We met a lot of nice people through the years,” he said. “I enjoyed my customers tremendously—we had a lot of really good and loyal customers who became friends over the years. We also had two great mechanics who stuck with us to the very end.”
Dr. Johnnie Stevens said he was a marina customer before the Battles purchased it, and continued as a customer until the marina closed.
“They were a phenomenal improvement to the marina,” he said. “Alan made it great with good mechanics and a wide variety of merchandise. I’m really going to miss having him there. He even came to my pier a couple times to help with my boat.”
Stevens said the marina was also conveniently located, a short distance from Interstate 20 and just off U.S. 78.
“I know a lot of people really enjoyed having the marina in Riverside,” he said.
Kim Fiscus, who was a marina customer for the past two years, said it was a shock to learn the marina was closing.
“I bought a boat through Alan and stored it there,” she said. “They were really a lot of help to a new boat owner, as well as everyone else. They would do the little things to help you out—go the extra mile. I haven’t talked to anyone else who isn’t upset that it closed.”
Contact Elsie Hodnett at email@example.com.