More than 700 expressions of interest have been received for the 270 berths at Shellharbour's long-awaited marina - with the first boats expected to arrive in July.
Shellharbour City Council announced on Tuesday that Marine Holdings Australia Pty Limited (MHA) will operate the marina and boat maintenance facility for the next 30 years.
Led by Les Binkin, MHA will be responsible for establishing and operating a successful marina business, including marketing and seeking marina berth-holders to moor within Shell Cove Harbour.
Mr Binkin has more than 25 years' experience in the industry, owning and operating marinas in Gosford and Lake Macquarie.
He said there were a lot of enquiries about the new marina, especially in relation to boating berths.
"There is still some time to go but a lot who have made submissions don't even have boats. Our first priority will go to those who have boats," Mr Binkin told the Mercury.
"We anticipate that a little under 200 so far are genuine but I'm sure we will have no problem filling it."
He said it would cost about $850 a month to moor a 12-metre boat within Shell Cove Harbour.
Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba said the announcement of the marina operator was a sign to boating enthusiasts around Australia that the marina was officially "open for business".
"We are thrilled to have secured the services of such a successful and highly respected marina operator," she said.
"Mr Binkin's success in the industry is second-to-none - Shellharbour Marina is one of our city's greatest assets and I know it is going to be in very safe hands."
An engineer, Mr Binkin said he was passionate about boating and described the Shellharbour Marina as "world class", offering a premium facility and marine services.
"There are so many opportunities to really put it on the map," he said.
"We want to run regattas, fishing competitions, and tag into the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race as a support facility for training in the lead-up.
"I am looking forward to spending a lot of time here and becoming established in the community."
The first stage of the $180 million Shellharbour Marina will have 145 berths and be available in late July, with boats expected to come into the marina soon after.
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