Thursday, March 22, 2007

Suisun's Excursion Boat in Limbo After Lease Proposal is Pulled

Suisun's Excursion Boat in Limbo After Lease Proposal is Pulled
By Ian Thompson

SUISUN CITY - Will Suisun City's excursion boat stay in Suisun City?

That's a question the skipper of the 45-foot excursion boat California Sunset is pondering after Mayor Pete Sanchez yanked a proposed five-year lease from the agenda for Suisun City Council's Tuesday meeting.

"It was disheartening," said boat owner Dan Thiemann, who had no warning before arriving at the meeting. He also isn't sure what will happen next.

Thiemann was stunned when Sanchez started the meeting by announcing the proposed lease was being dropped from the agenda without a peep or a vote from the rest of the council.

"I don't know if I should fire it up and get the boat out of here," said Thiemann, whose vessel has called Suisun City home since July 2006.

Sanchez said later he felt five years was too long a period for the lease. The mayor also said the lease didn't have a clause he wanted that would allow the city to terminate it without cause.

Up to now, the California Sunset has been running tours from the city's public boat dock on a month-to-month basis and turning 10 percent of its gross revenues to the city.

Thiemann had been filling the city's goal of bringing in an entertainment boat for some time. The city had another, larger entertainment boat docked here several years ago, but that boat lasted only a year before leaving after running a financial loss.

The California Sunset brought in $38,000 between July 2006 and February with little or no advertising. The city got $3,796 of that.

The lease is expected to land back before the City Council in two weeks, when city staff will lay out different alternatives for councilmembers to discuss, City Manager Suzanne Bragdon said.

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or at

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