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Gulf Star Marina opens new ‘smart marina’ on Fort Myers Beach

Gulf Star Marina, Southwest Florida’s first fully automated “smart marina,” is now open on Fort Myers Beach.

Developed by Carroll Properties, Gulf Star Marina is the first in the world to feature Austrian-based LTW’s stacker crane technology that delivers vessels from storage racks to the water within minutes. Boat owners can use an app to schedule their estimated arrival time, and a computer-operated system will safely transport boats from storage to the water using lifts and a rail system, similar to a high-tech vending machine. The automated storage and retrieval (ASAR) technology replaces forklifts traditionally used in dry dock storage marinas.

The 29,000-square-foot, multi-level marina is built inside a reinforced concrete structure offering superior protection from fire, wind and rain. It replaced an aging steel facility built in the 1970s.

“Since COVID-19, boat sales are on the rise and as a result, there is an increased demand for boat storage in Southwest Florida,” said Todd Carroll, owner of Carroll Properties. “Gulf Star Marina can accommodate boats and yachts up to 40 feet in length, and when you’re talking about a significant investment like that, you want to make sure they’re protected from the elements, especially during hurricane season.”

In addition to secure dry storage, Gulf Star Marina’s concierge services include boat fueling and cleaning, as well as access to the Captain’s Club that features a lounge, big-screen TV, computer station and fully equipped locker room with showers. Through the Boat Cloud app, boat owners can pre-order food, snacks, drinks and ice, and Gulf Star Marina staff will have items ready to go upon owners’ arrival.

Additionally, public access to the marina includes a fueling station and Ship Store, which will offer drinks, snacks, clothing, fishing gear and boating accessories once completed.

Located at 708 Fisherman’s Wharf, adjacent to Doc Ford’s restaurant, Gulf Star Marina began accepting reservations while under construction and anticipates reaching capacity in the coming months. Pricing is based on vessel size and availability. Monthly rates start at $20 per foot with full concierge services.

GCM Contracting Solutions of Fort Myers was the project’s general contractor. MHK Architecture & Planning of Naples provided design services.

About Gulf Star Marina

Gulf Star Marina is located at 708 Fisherman’s Wharf on Fort Myers Beach, near the foot of the Matanzas Pass Bridge on San Carlos Island. The marina can accommodate boats and yachts up to 40 feet and offers concierge services like boat fueling and cleaning. Additional services include a fueling station and ship store. For information about pricing and reservations, please visit GulfStarMarina.com or call 239-463-9552.

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