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River Valley acquires Bill's Bay Marina in Red Wing

Two of the biggest names in the Red Wing boating business are now under the same ownership.

River Valley Power and Sport owner John Wooden announced July 10 he has acquired Bill's Bay Marina. The deal will initially mean business as usual for Bill's Bay, though opportunities to update assets at the marina are being explored, according to a news release. The purchase also will allow for a floating showroom and on-water demonstrations.

The marina will be renamed River Valley Marina.

River Valley said it intends to retain the family-first atmosphere of the marina, calling it one of the nicest marina locations in North America. The business also announced plans to retain all or most of the existing Bill's Bay staff, including longtime manager Zach Paider, who will oversee brokerage sales.

The Bill's Bay showroom on West Third Street will house fiberglass boats, as well as allow River Valley to expand its large boat sale offerings, according to the announcement.

Bill's Bay Marina was established in 1987 by William "Bill" Nafe, who died in August 2017. The showroom off Highway 61 offers boat sales and repair services.

The 62-slip marina near Colvill Park has year-round dockage, fuel and a convenience store. The marina was dredged in 2013.

River Valley's Red Wing locations offer a variety of marine and powersport vehicles as well as related services and landscaping. The business also has locations in Rochester and on Lake Minnetonka, where Wooden owns the 98-slip Brown's Bay Marina.

Trade magazine Boating Industry named River Valley Power and Sport a top-100 dealer in North America for 2017 — one of only two dealers from Minnesota to make the list.

This story was updated 7/18/2018.

Michael Brun

Michael Brun joined RiverTown Multimedia at the Red Wing Republican Eagle in March 2013, covering county government, health and local events.  He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls journalism program.

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