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Old 04-07-2014, 03:55 PM
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It will come as a surprise to no one that I am not (nor have I ever been) supportive of Waterfront Development Corporation operating the BELLE OF LOUISVILLE.

Although they have done a lot to keep the boat going, she has been more useful to their ultimate agenda. The need for her to operate is in no way a priority of WDC. At this point WDC is going into a self preservation mode after losing this state funding money and the future of their need for the BELLE can be nothing but suspect at best. Many sources have pointed out this setback for the Birthday Celebration is the harbinger of the end of her operational career. It has been clearly pointed out for the last two years that WDC is outgrowing their need for the BELLE and she is not in their future plans going forward.

Like Judy, I pray I am wrong in saying such. I pray another operator can impress the City and get her before something desperate happens to her. That would be what would make her a success, a knowledgeable operator coming in to run her properly. I can think of only two highly successful operators who have the experience necessary to operate an excursion steamboat in this day and age. I hope they are watching this thread and take the leap to save her and her phenomenal history.

She may have to leave the waterfront (as WDC already charges her wharfage fees and requires her crew (with salaries coming out of HER operational budget) to maintain the wharf in her area….at Cox's Park she could land for free). To keep her running and get her back to the success she has known in the past the only hope is to get her out of the clutches of WDC and into the hands of a proper steamboat operator. It'd be a shame to lose another operational boat, at this point, we have too few to lose!
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