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SURF CITY, NC (WWAY) — A marina in Surf City is closing, but the tenants are not the only ones affected. As the Pender-Topsail News & Voice was first to report, Wells Fargo, which owns Surf City Beach House Marina, delivered the news to people who keep their boat there yesterday.

“It’s been a pleasure being able to promote our entire village,” business owner Capt. David Luther said. “That’s gone now.”

For Luther and other tenants of the Beach House Marina, the past few days have been a whirlwind. Luther found out Tuesday he has to move his boats, one of which he lives on, by June 19. It’s a tough situation for him as he runs entertainment cruises from the Belle of Topsail and the pirate ship Raven.

“We’ve gotten very involved with all the businesses around here, because surprisingly enough, this marina feeds business,” Luther said. “We get back in at 8 p.m. because we do a sunset cruise, and at 8 p.m. you have been out having a good time, what do you want to do? Go somewhere else.”

Capt. Luther and his business are not the only ones affected by the closure of the marina. There are also those who own and live on boats here that will have to relocate.

“I really don’t have any plans,” tenant David Avery said. “We’re looking and trying to find out. We’ll probably have to moor here for a while until we find another place to go or figure out what’s going on… at least till my daughter gets done with school.”

Tenants have signed leases, and Capt. Luther even bought $30,000 worth of advertising promoting the location. They say it’s a nightmare they wish was not happening.

“I put everything I had into this, and then for them to come and give me 20 days to get the hell out, that’s painful,” Luther said.

Surf City Mayor Zander Guy says he does not want to see this happen. He says the town is looking into alternate options for the boats.

Comment on this Story

  • SurfCityTom

    someone @ Wells Fargo is shivering @ the thought you will move your accounts.

    Actually, this was overdue. The Bank is regulated by the Feds and the FDIC. The marina and unsold slips were considered a toxic asset. They were probably being flogged by some little official @ the FDIC to unload this dog.

    Now watch how quickly an investor or group of investors will step in; purchase it for pennies on the dollar; and make a killing once the economy recovers.

    As I always say when dealing with a bank official to purchase foreclosed property, “I am not in the business to help bankers get over dumb loans”.

    WF has a far bigger problem. They have a stockholder lawsuit being filed for some of the dumb buyouts they made.

  • Iheartbabies

    If anyone would check out the proposed bridge replacement routes they would see that several proposals that involve a high-rise replacement would go through/near the marina. Maybe Wells-Fargo has information on what DOT has decided about bridge replacement.

  • Lee J

    I didn’t think Wells Fargo could get any worse.. I was wrong. I guess you can’t fix STUPID. Surf city mayor Guy has to figure a way to keep this going until someone comes up with a rational solution. The Belle
    has been a breath of fresh air for the Island. God keep us safe from the banks..

  • Lori Puczylowski

    Something needs to be done other than eviction…Surely there are other ways a big bank can work with Businesses & home owners to save Lives…This is not going to help the economy of Topsail The BELLE is a Treasure & brings in people from all around & must remain on the Island…

  • GuestDog

    The first question is WHY does Wells Fargo want to close an operating business? Having done business with these FOOLS I feel sorry for the local folks who have boats there.
    It would seem that they would want to keep it operating, but maybe they have a “grand and glorious” plan to make it better like building more crappy condos, OR maybe they have a land baron who wants the land to sit on and deprive the local government of tax revenues
    Either way, it is one more example of POOR business practices by this less than stellar bank

  • candy

    I don’t understand why Wells Fargo would do this to a local business. They will not gain any friends that is for sure. If this happens, I will surely pull my accounts from this bank and bank elsewhere. Terrible news for the local economy.

  • Brad W

    If this happens, it will be a loss to Surf City and Topsail Island, both economically and recreationally. Although known as a pirate haven of days gone by, Topsail’s revitalized identy as a pirate’s layer, thanks entirely to the Pirate cruises hosted on the Belle of Topsail, will be no more if this marina closes. Let’s also not forget those whose floating homes will be disrupted, as will their families, and the boaters who will no longer have the services of a local marina.

    If Wells Fargo wants to sell this property as an operational marina, it only seems logical to want to retain as many tenants as possible.

  • Pirate James Crow

    I don’t know how some people sleep at night. It seems the bank is more interested in ceasing assets than letting children keep their homes. Families live in the boats at the marina. Where do they go now? It’s not like they were unable to pay their dock fees. they were just told they have 2 weeks to be gone or face their evictions by U.S. Marshals. Seems a bit extreme to me for people who are just trying to do the right thing and raise there kids in a good neighborly environment. Not to mention the loss of our business. We have the best entertaining show on the island and it is aboutto be taken from us. I wish the big wigs would show some compassion for the little guys, after all we are just trying to do the right thing by working and raising children.

  • Shae

    I think its a true shame for the Belle of Topsail to have to move.. Surf City is a very small town with not alot of entertainment… The Belle was great Entertainment and a great asset for Surf City.. I truely hope the town will do something to save The Belle of Topsail.. And help out the others affected by this mess…


    You already got a clown, Surf City Tom – Just teach him to juggle.

  • I pulled up this information from the NRA-ILA’s website to contact state and congressional officials in NC, just enter the zip code for Surf City, 28445 and click the blue hyperlinks for to contact the State House of Representatives, The State Senator, The Congressional House of Representatives, and The Congressional Senators. Please utilize it in hope of helping The Belle of Topsail and other residence of the marina being effected by this. I will be calling and writing the elected officials tomorrow even though I am not a resident of NC, and I hope you do the same. Topsail will not be the same if the Belle and Raven are not there.

    Please utilize this link to contact the elected officials of that area of NC:

  • Patrick

    The Belle of Topsail is the #1 reason we visit Surf City. No Belle, no visits to Surf City.

  • Jeaninne Wagner

    I hope a solution can be found to keep the marina open. I have been on several of the cruises with The Belle of Topsail and loved them!!! It’s a great thing to do when we have friends visiting our beach home and the Luthers make the experience a fun one.

    I feel for all of the people affected by this situation. Please find a solution!

  • Rebekah Todd

    This is so disappointing. As summer visitors to Topsail every year we always ride the cruises and walk around the beautiful marina. I don’t know what plans they have for the marina, but an empty marina is a eyesore and a waste. All my two year old daughter has talked about this year is meeting the pirates on the pirate ship. We had no idea It wouldn’t be a possibility. I hope the powers that be will realize how traumatically and badly this will effect the community and vacationers.

  • Guest4125

    To get them through this economic downturn and drive them to prosperity is a BASEBALL STADIUM!! It’s the cure-all for all economic maladies.

  • SurfCityTom

    on this one.

    Rather than a ball park, which is not functional during inclemant weather, we’re going with a curling facility.

    Curling was such a stimulating sport during the Winter Olympics.

    We’ve got the Governor behind us on this one. It will be a combination Curling Arena, Museum, and National Headquarters for the US Curling Association.

    This will be enclosed, and when not used for curling, can double as a hurricane shelter, ice skating arena, and arena for use by the CFCC ice hockey team which we hope to see commence playing when the auxilary campus opens up in Surf City.

  • SurfCityTom

    these thought provoking and mind stimulating posts.

    It’s sad the have nots, who subsit on entitlements, have nothing better to do than attack the haves, who pay the taxes required to support the entitlement lifestyle.

    I believe the Cole Brothers circus is in Richmond; hurry and you can catch up with it; unless that is they dropped you off and told you not to follow. In which case you might hurry down to Carolina Beach Road and get your application in to be a comic lion or tiger trainer.


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