By C.L. Harmon
He buzzes with energy like the humming of an outboard motor chopping waves across a calm morning lake. He’s a hands on type of guy who sees potential that others have missed…and he is also the new owner of Pier 51. Austin Cameron has his hands full implementing new ideas to an old business with his supercharged sense of diving hands first into a new endeavor.
Since 2009 Cameron has been in the marina business. After working in real estate investments, he decided to try his deckhand into something a little more hands on. And so he bought his first marina on Lake Travis in Texas. His mother had encouraged him to do something that was fun and that he would enjoy, so he dove into something new and came up with a marina. Starting with washing boats, doing oil changes and even scuba diving to re-anchor the docks, he got his first marina off the ground. He bought it out of bankruptcy and had it turned around in no time he said. In 2012, he purchased another marina at Possum Kingdom Lake also in Texas.
“I have been looking to buy another one for the past couple of years and I ran across this one. The past owners were ready to move on to new things. What I am bringing to the table is a lot of the newer technology,” he said. He explained that the technology will help the techs become more efficient. In addition, the old marina is getting a new face lift with an aesthetic overhaul. This includes new skin on the building, modern railing and a complete update on just about everything else to bring the marina into the 21st century.
“I think the staff here is excellent! The customers here are the most loyal, wonderful customers in the world and I think what has been lacking is just efficiency and aesthetics. It’s an old marina, but just because it’s old doesn’t mean we can’t make it look like a brand new one,” he said.
He believes that the demand is here with the continuing growth on Keystone. He said that this is a beautiful lake with beautiful beaches and it’s right in this area’s own backyard. Cameron also bought another marina last month making it his second on Lake Travis.
“In the last 60 days I have bought two more marinas and have gone from a two marina operation to a four, so I am working my tail off,” he quipped.” For this marina, he hopes to triple the growth of service to go along with all the new changes.
The dock destroyed by fire recently is currently being replaced and should be completed by June 17, Service Manager Sean Adair said.
Pier 51