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Marine News from the Great Lakes

Marina Continues On Right Course as a Family Fun Destination

Published: Wednesday, September 22, 2010 7:00 am
By: Kean's Marina

When Mike Litt and Jim Cummins, best friends for 44 years, bought Kean's Marina 2 ½ years ago, it was exactly when the economic tsunami hit.

"Kean's took a little dip but we went ahead and implemented our new programs and upgrades anyway," began Litt. "Sincethen we have consistently grown! People want to be where things are happening and improvements are not only being carried out, but visible too. These times of turmoil are ending and Kean's Marine is positioned (and already enjoying) the recovery that is slowly coming." Mike Litt, managing partner, handles the day to day operations and maintenance of the large marina on the river across from the Detroit Yacht Club.

When the co-owners bought Kean's in January of 2008, they had a plan that within four years they would turn Kean's into are sort-like, family fun destination complete with a motto: "Kean's is for kids of all ages!" Thinking on a large scale, the entrepreneurs decided they would like to be known all over the world and become a destination marina. "We have had international cruisers stop and stay for a while already,"added Litt.

Litt is a 'Grosse Point-er' who has been married for 10 years to Linda Jo and has two children, Michael (10) and Mason (7). He has learned what it takes to accomplish the company's vision from travels with his own family.

"We asked ourselves, 'what makes US vacation in a resort?' Our family's answer was understandable enough: cleanliness but also music, flowers, and fun. "We know what families want," said Litt. "People should come through the gates and 'get away.'  We are not just a marina, not just a boat yard – we are a family fun place." And Kean's has already been making the changes necessary to accomplish that goal.

Entertainment on a Large Scale

With 360 summer boat wells, the marina is already a popular spot for transient boaters wanting to stay the night. "Kean's really is an amazing property with great potential. We draw crowds of transient boaters who come to catch a concert or go to the casinos and other events," continued Litt. "In perfect position for viewing the hydroplane races, we had 100 transient boats that weekend – something that hasn't happened in 20 years," he exclaimed with excitement.

Included on their summer calendar of events have been a deliciously successful charity Chili Cook Off, a July 4th Family Picnic and a Venetian Night. Upcoming festivities include the JB Kean Day Family Picnic with water slide and a charity dunk tank. Kean's Marina also currently offers tent and banquet room rentals. Future plans include further development of the property. "We will always have charity events and we may go into other related businesses," says Litt.

This family friendly marina has been drawing people from everywhere because of the many picnic areas and children's playscape– all of it "clean, clean, clean," reports Litt.

A One Stop Marina Village

Kean's Marina has something else that many other marinas lack - The Shops at Kean's. Litt boasted, "We rent the shops out to an ensemble of highly talented people. The shops include Ship Shape Yacht Care, Len's Marine Service and Gas Dock, St. Clair Yacht Sales, and Lake Shore Boat Top. We are a one stop marina village with full services."

Now accepting 2010/2011 winter storage and well applications, Kean's Marina offers an early sign up discount. With all of the services Kean's Marina offers, on top of the family atmosphere and great prices, Litt advised, "people should contact us soon because we fill up our inside storage by the end of September!"

The Future

An integral part of future plans for Kean's and another thing Litt credits for Kean's success is the Marina Manager, April Keszo, who comes to Kean's with a Commercial Recreation degree from Michigan State. Keszo worked at a marina for nine years and "was thefirst recipient of the Michigan Boating Association Scholarship Award," boasted Litt. "She is great! She has a young family herself and brings her 'mom' perspective to everything we do for the kids."

With his eyes on sailing into future plans for Kean's, Litt has dropped anchor and isn't going anywhere. "Having grown up in the area, I've come back after being gone for 10 years. I am a lifelong boater and I am working four miles from my home on Three Mile – I love it here and my family does too! We love the Grosse Pointe community," said Litt, "it's like living in a resort town. I know Detroit and Michigan, and this area will certainly rebound!"

"Kean's was Grosse Pointe family owned for 78 years and we are keeping it that way," Litt stated strongly. "We're going to be here for a long time to come and I encourage everyone to come and see us! You'll be glad you did!"

For more information about Kean's Marina or to make arrangements for winter storage or summer fun for next year, visit www.keansmarina.com.

"I want people to come through the gates and 'get away.'  We're not just a marina, not just a boat yard – we're a family fun place." ~Michael Litt, Co-Owner, Kean's Marina


tags: Lake Erie, Lake St. Clair, Marina

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