City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Join the Club

Bartlett Lake Marina Offers a One-of-a-Kind Boat Club

The pull of days at the lake can be powerful. Dreams of a lazy day spent on the water. Water skiing or tubing behind your own boat. Piloting a boat through the water, the wind against your skin.

For many, though, the price tag and time for boat upkeep make those dreams prohibitive, but not with the Bartlett Lake Marina Boat Club.

Often described as “Arizona’s best-kept secret,” Bartlett Lake Marina is located at 20808 E. Bartlett Dam Road in the Tonto National Forest on the edge of Carefree—and it is home to 2,815 acres of scenic boatable water fed by the Verde River.

Each year, thousands flock to Bartlett Lake for a variety of recreational activities, including boating, water skiing, and more. For those who do dream of enjoying the perks of boat ownership but without the time commitment or the price tag, the marina offers Bartlett Lake Marina Boat Club, a membership-based boat club that provides its members with everything needed to enjoy a fantastic day on the water.

“March to October is our most popular time for boating,” says Bryan Church, co-owner of Bartlett Lake Marina. “The boat club is a wonderful way for Valley families to participate in boating without the cost and maintenance that comes with boat ownership.”

Church compares the concept to a gym membership—it’s worth the cost if you go regularly and use the equipment.

For a one-time deposit, monthly fee, and one-year commitment, members get year-round access to an impressive fleet of boats ranging from pontoons to Sea Rays.

He adds that other perks to boat club membership include the ability to bring guests; a boating safety course for novices; on-board instruction; licensing; and included insurance, maintenance, and repairs.

“We also add in water skis, boards, tubes, and of course ski vests,” Church adds.

“We offer ski boats, fishing boats, pontoons, and more, and we seem to be most popular with families who want to spend five to six hours at their convenience out on the lake,” he continues. “If you use it regularly, it’s a great deal. You just reach out, schedule your boating date and time, and it will be waiting for you. Everything is included in the membership, too—including training with the boats. Your only responsibility is getting out on the water and participating in the enjoyment of boating.”

An avid outdoors enthusiast, Church helped create Bartlett Lake Marina more than 22 years ago and says that the marina is family-owned and -operated. While he recognizes that boating can be intimidating to novices, he describes the boats in the club’s fleet as approachable and simple to drive.

“Becoming a club member is a hassle-free way to enjoy boating,” he says. “Our members enjoy the benefits of their boating time on the water with family, friends, and business partners without the expense and hassle of boat ownership. We upkeep the boats and we take care of our members.”

In addition to the boat club, Bartlett Lake Marina offers one-time boat and water equipment rentals, boat storage (for those who do own boats), and scenic space for outdoor activities. Locals can also participate in shoreline camping as allowed by the Tonto National Forest (call 602.225.5200 to ask for more details).

Church shares that he first came out to Bartlett Lake in 1984, and through steadfast dedication and navigation, he helped build and open the marina itself in 1995. He loves that he can be part of helping others become passionate about nature and boating.

“We [Bartlett Lake Marina] are self-contained and always developing and growing,” he says. “We hope to build a solar project soon and, of course, are always maintaining and growing our fleet for boat club members.”

Businesses featured in this article