Boat Operators Eye Suisun City
By Ian Thompson
SUISUN CITY - Three businesses want to dock an entertainment boat on Suisun City's waterfront, officials said.
One already made an appearance during the Fourth of July weekend. Daniel Thiemann brought his 45-foot vessel California Sunset, which he hopes will eventually have a home there.
"I am keeping my fingers crossed," Thiemann said. He spent the last two days cleaning up from non-stop cruises for those who came to the Old Town for the Independence Day festivities.
The profitable weekend and the fistful of business cards he had from people asking about charters proved an entertainment boat can make money operating out of Suisun City, Thiemann said.
"We made money and we had a safe operation," he added.
Thiemann was one of two potential boat operators who approached the Suisun City Council earlier this spring to explain what they felt they could offer the city. Thiemann is the president of Sacramento Steam Navigation Inc., which is based in Rancho Cordova.
The other was Mark Wirth, son of an Old Town business owner who has been expressing an interest in bringing a boat to Suisun City for more than two years.
A third established entertainment boat business surfaced earlier in June after Suisun City sent out requests for proposals to several potential boat operators.
Any other firms interested have until July 18 to send in their business proposals, which will be examined before they are sent to the City Council later this year.
"The city is open to all suggestions," Chief Building Official Dan Kasperson said. He's overseeing the proposals. "We are more concerned about having a successful and well-run operation that is an attraction to Suisun City."
That's not a problem, Thiemann said. His vessel, which started life was a whale-watching boat in 1971 before he rebuilt it, ran cruises down the Suisun Slough from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. with little more than a sign taped to the dock announcing the boat's presence.
Mayor Jim Spering stressed earlier this year "that Suisun City can't afford another failure" and that whoever comes in better have a solid business plan in place.
The last boat to dock in Suisun City was the paddleboat Grand Romance which arrived in 1998 but didn't prove to be the waterfront attraction the city hoped for. That vessel sailed out of Suisun City for the last time in late 1999.
Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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