Lakeside Marina sold at auction for over $3 million

August 25, 2018

At auction last month, the Lakeside Marina and Restaurant was sold to Dick McKee, principal at the Denver-based McKee Group for an amount he described as “north” of 5.5 million before it went to auction.

McKee said his team is in the midst of evaluating the property and deciding the work necessary to reopen it. Though they were still early on in the process, he hoped to be open for business in some capacity by the summer of 2019.

“It’s going to take us quite a bit of time, and we’ll have local architects and engineers working with us,” McKee said. “We’re excited about evaluating that and coming up with a very viable and wonderful project for the community. It’s going to take some time to go through everything and look at the current structures and issues with those and whether we keep them or just redo it.”

McKee said they have been going through talks about whether the marina would need an internal reconfiguration to offer better protection for boats, which has been an issue in the past.

He said the previous group of owners had been very helpful in providing information on recent work completed on the marina.

McKee doesn’t anticipate making any major changes to the function of the property. He said the finished product will still include a marina and restaurant and be open to the public, and hopes the property’s revival will help promote Lakeside’s reputation as a destination spot on Flathead Lake.

“We’ve watched Lakeside grow and watched it really move along in the last ten years or so with more and more people on the west side appreciating the west side of the lake.”

McKee is a Colorado developer who began his foray into the Flathead Valley years ago, when his son began attending the University of Montana in Missoula. His family began to make frequent trips to western Montana to camp and fly fish, and fell in love with the area.

Eventually, McKee decided to buy shorefront property in Lakeside and construct a set of condominiums through his development company. In 2011, he sold 14 of those condos for $4.5 million through Alabama-based J.P King, the same auction company through which he bought the marina.

He said his family still retains a couple of the condos in the complex, and they come to visit the lake every summer. His family has been eagerly waiting for the marina to reopen for a while; when the chance came along to do it himself, he jumped at it.

“I feel like we’re fortunate to be a part of this opportunity and we are very tied in to Lakeside and through our history of being in Lakeside over quite a few years,” McKee said. “I think we understand or at least we have a decent grasp on what this means to the community, and I think that’s very important for our success.”

Reporter Peregrine Frissell can be reached at (406) 758-4438 or pfrissell@dailyinterlake.com.

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