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Buying and managing a first Italian marina

The recent acquisition of Marina Punta del Faro Resort in the Italian region of Friuli Venezia is potentially the first step in an expansion process for leading premium marina operator and marina consultant D-Marin. CEO, Oliver Dörschuck, tells us more.

Punta del Faro Resort (above) is beautiful, peaceful and well-tended, with abundant leisure facilities

Punta del Faro Resort (above) is beautiful, peaceful and well-tended, with abundant leisure facilities

At the most extreme point of Lignano Sabbiadoro where the magical colours of the Adriatic Sea merge into the fresh water of the Marano Lagoon, Marina Punta del Faro Resort is seen as a ‘pearl of pleasure’ in the Upper Adriatic. Its 1,200 moorings are supported by a high level of assistance and services, and there are many leisure opportunities on site and in the local area.
The marina resort is a perfect acquisition for a group that is renowned for service, quality and the offering of unique experiences, and it expands the portfolio into completely new territory while bringing the tally to 16 marinas. These are based in Greece (where D-Marin has its headquarters), Turkey, the UAE, Montenegro and Croatia.
Oliver Dörschuck

Oliver Dörschuck

Punta del Faro is a 25-year-old tourist port that offers privacy, safety, tranquillity and beauty in a well-tended environment with special features, such as the splendid swimming pool inspired by the archaeological finds in the ancient Roman colony of Aquileia. It has a sandy beach and a neighbouring pine forest, protected and recognised as a Site of Community Importance.
Sports infrastructure includes a tennis court and a five-a-side football pitch, a Technogym gym and a sporting club, which opened in May. And the classics of a good modern marina are all present: 24-hour mooring assistance; pump-out; dining service; golf buggies; internet corner; disabled access; electric car charge points etc.
Leisure offerings are complemented by the technical, with yard services spread over an area of 2ha (5 acres). This gives space for external storage, and for the shipyard, where boat haul and transfer takes place using an 80 tonne boat hoist, a 4 tonne self-propelled crane with extendable arm (up to 25m/82ft) and a 20 tonne self-propelled trolley.
Covered storage sheds include the sail loft, the joinery and carpentry department, and mechanical workshops for the installation and repair of electrical and electronic systems. On-site operators include Nautimotor Toniutto (Yanmar and Lombardini Marine workshop and Yahama dealership), Motornautica Casasola (Volvo Penta workshop) and Piccoli Giuseppe Falegname (nautical carpentry, interior fittings etc).
Punta del Faro Resort with extensive yard services.

Punta del Faro Resort with extensive yard services.

Marina guests can spend leisure time in various bars, restaurants and retail outlets, can join water aerobics courses and have swimming or diving lessons on site and in the surrounding area. Various sport and sailing school activities are also offered via the Lignano Yacht Club, whose regattas start in April with the Regata dei Due Golfi and end in November and December with the Campionato Autunnale della Laguna, held in 2022 for the 47th and 33rd year respectively.
Around 1,200 berths are located throughout the site.

Around 1,200 berths are located throughout the site.

All facilities and event programmes have been developed without losing sight of the need to protect the marine environment and to meet the criteria of the Blue Flag status it has held for many years.
Specific environmental attention is paid to the disposal and separation of used oils and batteries, and the maintenance of clean water. A Seabin has been installed near one of the central piers for the collection of microplastics and small scraps of floating waste. Due to the currents, it collects around 1.5kg (3lb 5oz) of waste per day, which equates to 500kg (1,100lb) per year. The
Marina staff focus on offering efficient and personal service.

Marina staff focus on offering efficient and personal service.

Seabin installation is the result of a collaboration with Lifegate, an environmental consulting company that fosters sustainability in the workplace and boasts a community of over five million people.
Aside from plentiful nearby attractions, Punta Faro Marina is just an hour or so away from Venice by car or train and is a unique experience by boat. In just over two hours, you can reach Cortina d’Ampezzo, one of the most renowned ski and mountain resorts in the Alps, and also enjoy relaxing breaks in the Collio hills, famous for the vineyards producing Tocai, Pinot, Sauvignon, Cabernet and Merlot wine.
And the marina is the start of things to come for D-Marin, according to Oliver Dörschuck:
“Punta Faro is our first marina in Italy and becomes the 16th marina in the D-Marin group. We’re really excited to enter the Italian market. Our acquisition of Punta Faro enables us to extend the sailing destinations we can offer both our new and existing clients and is the ideal complement to our marinas in nearby Croatia,” he says.
“Our goal is to build a premium marina network, particularly across the Mediterranean Sea. We are looking forward to welcoming new marinas to our family in Italy and are currently discussing several opportunities.”
The sporting club, which opened in May this year, complements a gym, tennis court and five-a-side football pitch.

The sporting club, which opened in May this year, complements a gym, tennis court and five-a-side football pitch.

Q: What attracted you most to this particular marina?
A: We are very selective about the marinas we add to our network. Indeed, Punta Faro is an excellent addition. It is a large marina, is well-run and offers all the services and facilities like great restaurants, dry dock, gyms, tennis courts and a pool. We look for marinas with similar values to us that offer high quality services, delivered by a team that is committed and truly cares about its customers.
As people are the real differentiator, we look for teams with the right innovative mindset that fits our purpose.
Q: What are the main advantages for you and for Punta Faro Marina Resort?
A: Our purpose is to enrich yachting experiences and provide our clients with first-class experiences whether they use their boat for sports or exploring. A key advantage to welcoming Punta Faro to the D-Marin family is it enables us to offer more choice to our customers, opening up new destinations for them to explore with us thanks to our reciprocal berthing programme. D-Marin already has a high brand loyalty. From time to time, customers choose a new yachting location, but most of them we welcome to one of our other D-Marin marinas in a different location. Punta Faro will get new customers from the D-Marin customer pool.
In addition, Punta Faro will benefit from the innovative digital services, which will improve the experience for customers, making it even easier to visit Punta Faro. Given our scale, Punta Faro will also benefit from our presence at boat shows and our strong D-Marin website.
Q: Are you planning to make changes to services, infrastructure, personnel and internal management? If so, which ones and why?
A: Our main focus will be the introduction of our quickly appreciated digital services at Punta Faro. I am convinced the digital experience exists to make our lives quicker, easier and more effortless and complements the overall yachting experience in Punta Faro.
Clients are able to create online profiles where all documents can be uploaded, check-in can be completed online, and booking and paying for a specific berth takes only a couple of minutes. And there is more to come. We keep innovating and designing new services and processes.
Digital services not only reduce administration for customers, but they also save our team time too, leaving more time available to spend with clients, especially those who prefer more face-to-face-contact.
Punta Faro is already well cared for, but we will certainly continue to invest to improve the services and facilities we offer our customers. We are ready to invest and upgrade the marina.
Q: D-Marin claims to support the social, cultural, environmental and economic development of local communities and regions. Where will your focus be at Punta Faro Marina?
A: The D-Marin network is very much aligned on our Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) strategy; we are developing a concept to support a stringent ESG approach across marinas in six countries. However, most of the activities will be implemented locally and we will develop a Punta Faro specific concept with the local team. We like to be good neighbours and integrate well in the local communities and preserve the environment. A few examples of activities our teams have been involved in include collecting and recycling sails, investing in solar panels to produce clean energy and supporting local youth training facilities.
We recently received the silver medal from EcoVadis for our ESG activities last year, which ranks us in the top 30% of all leisure companies (see Products & Services). This is a great achievement we are very proud of, but we will continue to seek ways we can improve our ESG efforts further.

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