Rejected in Riverhead, cruise ship eyes Greenport

04/27/2011 6:00 AM |

What doesn’t fly — or sail — in Riverhead might in Greenport Village

At least that’s the thinking of Ed Graham, who asked the Village Board Monday night to rent him and his group dock space for what he described as a “cocktail boat” that would run excursions on which passengers could purchase drinks and hors d’oeuvres and light snacks.

The 366-passenger boat, called The Cabana, is part of the Marco Polo Cruise Fleet that sails out of New York City. The group tried to gain a foothold in Riverhead this year, only to be turned down by officials — led by Supervisor Sean Walter — who weren’t convinced the boat plans were bona fide.

COURTESY PHOTO | The 100 foot-long by 30 foot wide Cabana Dinner Cruise boat.

Mr. Walter and others took a trip to NYC, only to learn that Mr. Graham and others who had presented to the Riverhead Town Board did not own or lease the boat, the supervisor had said.

From then on, town officials said they wouldn’t entertain the proposal.

“Riverhead thought it was a joke,” Mr. Graham said. “They kind of threw us under the bus.”

But it’s no joke, he told Greenport board members, insisting he’s not trying to compete with local restaurants, which was also a concern of Riverhead officials. In fact, Mr. Graham said, he wants to offer to small restaurants the chance to partner in providing services to large parties that can’t be accommodated on land.

He’s asking for a spot on the west pier at the Mitchell Park Marina and speculated that he might be able to pay a flat fee of about $10,000 for seasonal dockage this year plus a small per-passenger fee that would go to the village.

Mr. Graham proposes to run sunset cruises between 5 and 9 p.m.; moonlight cruises from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m.; and day cruises to visit lighthouses between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. He proposes to charge passengers between $30 and $35 apiece and offered to give a deal to Greenporters for $20 per person. But, he said, if dock fees were too steep, he would have to charge more for the cruises, which could make them unaffordable for many potential passengers.

Mayor David Nyce asked him to take the proposal to Greenport Business Improvement District members, who meet Thursday morning. The board wants to give business owners a chance to weigh in on the proposal before it acts, officials said.

Mr. Graham is hoping to win approval in time to get the service up and running by Memorial Day weekend. Failure to do so would cost the business one-third of its revenues, he told the board.

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Comments

comments

34 Comment

  • 366 passenger ship might be a small ship !, But 360 toasted folk’s getting off the so called ” Cocktail Cruise” every couple hour’s sound’s like a train wreck ! We want all kind’s of folk’s to come to the North Fork , and enjoy all the fine thing’s we can offer in the village’s.

  • 366 passenger ship might be a small ship !, But 360 toasted folk’s getting off the so called ” Cocktail Cruise” every couple hour’s sound’s like a train wreck ! We want all kind’s of folk’s to come to the North Fork , and enjoy all the fine thing’s we can offer in the village’s.

  • No, Sean is the joke. Sounds like it could have been something to consider if he had been willing to listen. One more feather in their cap out in Greenport

  • No, Sean is the joke. Sounds like it could have been something to consider if he had been willing to listen. One more feather in their cap out in Greenport

  • well people who drink aren’t getting off this boat and going home. I am sure they would be hitting up the Greenport bars and restaurants for food and drink and this would be a good thing for the Greenport merchants. And if they have an afternoon cruise, I bet the woman would be buying alot of stuff at the stores! Have you ever shopped with a buzz???? lol

  • I would hope Greenport would OK this. Seems a win win for all folks involved. Bring her to Gport. : )

  • Hey, if local farmers can’t sell in the park because it commercializes the public space, then this guy looking to make a quick buck for the season should be told “no way”.

  • The difference is the farmers market wanted the park for free, this guy was willing to pay 15000 dollars for a seasonal space at the marina…not the park. The Village finally finds a renter who is actually willing to pay some rent for the use of village property, and you’re trying to chase him…go figure.

  • The proposal offered $1 per ticket sold to support parking in Greenport. I doubt this will be of any use in the near term for 350 people arriving by car looking for parking in the village. The company must have a satellite parking location and shuttle service if this is to fly. Also, it was not clear that the proposer actually has a cruise ship, but an option to rent one which is soon to expire. Why do these big proposals with complex issues come in requiring a rush decision – how about next year?

  • He planned to run the boat five nights a week with a minimum of 100-200 guests each night, Thats pretty optimistic, I’m wondering where all these people are coming from…I wish I could look at the real world through this persons eyes.

  • Greenport needs a parking structure in order to make use of peak season traffic efficiently. Then you could close off a street (Front St? ) and make a pedestrian mall.

  • Riverhead wouldnt know a good thing if it walked up and kicked Sean Walter in his butt….This Boat would take away from the restaurants in Riverhead????…the same restaurants that have been cited multiple times by the Board of Heath for gross violations??…yeah, ok….at least Mayor Nyce is open to the idea and invited Mr. Graham to present himself on short notice to the Village. Mr. Graham even expressed his interest in working with the restaurants in Greenport to incorporate their business with his boat….Its a great idea and Mayor Nyce has an open mind to it….

  • It would also be nice if the boat had gambling!

  • graham, youre a fake and a phony, you and your guys did not even own the vessel at the time you presented your idea to the town of rivehead, as far as the restaurant business stay out of it because your cluless just as your clueless about the marine business.
    but just for giggles lets review you
    1 again you or anyone affilliated to you neverowned a vessel
    2 even if you had the vessel it would not be ableto operate with a five foot draw in the river
    3 you were looking to pay about 1,500 a year with water eletric and pump out (thats insane)
    4 you waisted tax pay payer money by not holding to the appointment with town officials
    ( your excuse was your buddy had a heart attack , im suprised you did not use the old’ my dog
    ate my appointment book’)
    5 marco polo enterprises and the boat captain of the cabana never heard of you or your buddies,
    and he lives in wading river
    6 the captain also commented that the vessel will not be able to sail under the 105 bridge

  • and show girls with happy endings!

  • A casino would be better.

  • Censorship is not healthy for children and other living things…

  • If you do not believe in or endorse censorship, why in the heck are you reading the ST???