Industry » Features » Speaking with IGY's Bert Fowles Ahead of Monaco Yacht Show 2023

Speaking with IGY's Bert Fowles Ahead of Monaco Yacht Show 2023

As the summer season draws to a close, Bert Fowles is reflecting on yet another highly productive and successful year for IGY Marinas. 

With a host of exciting developments to talk about, including new service programs at Sète and St. Maarten and the launch of IGY Trident’s Collective and Club membership tiers, IGY’s dynamic Vice President of Sales and Marketing will outline these and many more new initiatives at the Monaco Yacht Show. 

“The last time I was at MYS was about five years ago, and in that time we have added many more marinas in the Mediterranean as well as becoming part of the Saudi Arabian project at Sindalah,” he says. 

“I’m excited to be back reconnecting face to face with some of our destination partners. We are not just a marina company, but a tourism partner, an economic partner and a destination driver.” 

Expansion plans in safe hands

If anyone is capable of overseeing such a packed agenda, it’s Bert. Born in Omaha, Nebraska, a keen fisherman and jet skier, he joined IGY in 2007 following a stellar 20-year career in hospitality at SuperClubs Resorts and gaming giants Prime Sports Ltd. 

“My view came from the hotel and casino world,” he says. “It formed my idea of bringing a destination management approach to marinas, where we come from the water up, not the land down. 

“I’ve scaled the measurables and deliverables of campaigns that have worked for large companies in the resort and corporate worlds towards a yachting environment, aligning IGY as a destination partner which can work and collaborate with others. In each destination, we fully immerse ourselves in the economy, the culture and the people to bring out the very best of what yachting can be. 

“In recent years, we have enjoyed enormous expansion, particularly across Europe, and the confidence displayed by our parent company MarineMax in planning for the future and in how they see our network growing has been a true moment of pride for me.” 

Service Program Highlights

IGY Sète Marina

With 600 linear metres of alongside berths up to 180m (590 ft), easy access to slips, comfortable facilities and a central location midway between Barcelona and the Côte d’Azur, the new service program adds yet another dimension to Sète marina. 

Partnering with the industry’s most highly regarded contractors across traditional shipyard trades, IGY provides dedicated Project Coordinators to help owners and captains organize their service requirements. This will save time and money, enhancing the entire superyachting experience while also giving customers the flexibility to control their project. 

“Most shipyard services occur in the water, whether that is a window replacement or a generator removal,” adds Bert. “We are creating a unique and dynamic platform at both Sète and St. Maarten, with a direct concierge to coordinate in-water service work so that when you book a charter or have an owner coming, you can expedite those projects to get back to day-to-day operations.” 

Yacht Club Isle de Sol, St Maarten 

Conveniently situated on a private island with single gated point of entry a mere two miles from the airport, and 20 nautical miles from St. Barts and other popular charter destinations, St. Maarten works with over 70 authorized shipyard trade contractors and all transactions are conducted in US dollars.

With 40 superyacht berths up to 98m (320 ft) and facilities including a fitness centre, restaurant, bar, swimming pool, tennis courts and sky lounge, it’s the perfect stopover point for Caribbean charters. 

“The goal is to create a more time efficient, dynamic environment where you can get a lot more done without putting the boat in the shipyard,’ adds Bert. “This will revolutionise the way things are done. There is more time to enjoy the boat, more time for it to be on charter and IGY will help you every step of the way, coordinating and managing works to ensure that they are handled responsibly and with little down time. 

“We’re getting a lot of interest from owners and captains who see the value in not tying the boat up in the shipyard.” 

IGY Trident – Collective and Club tiers 

Designed to simplify and enhance the experience of superyacht ownership, IGY Trident has introduced two membership tiers. 

IGY Trident Collective - which is limited to 30 members - offers guaranteed dockage across IGY’s network of 22 marinas in 13 countries worldwide. Additionally, members get a 25% dockage discount, 5% fuel and utilities discount and a dedicated on-site concierge team. 

IGY Trident Club tier entitles members to priority (but not guaranteed) dockage across the IGY network. As well as a 10% dockage discount and 5% fuel discount, this tier – which is capped at 100 members – also benefits from a Global Support Team. 

As part of the unique Trident experience, members also enjoy VIP access to glittering events celebrating Art Basel Miami at Yacht Haven Grande, the Miami F1 Grand Prix and Monaco Yacht Show’s coveted 007 party. 

“Due to the shortage of slips for large vessels worldwide, IGY Trident is a global solution for owner, captain and crew to enjoy unrivalled destination experiences,” explains Bert. “It’s the easiest and simplest way to overcome all itinerary challenges and it’s economically viable given the benefits that come with both products. 

“We have a number of Collective members in the program who are enjoying guaranteed dockage at some of the most in-demand and usually unavailable times in the superyacht calendar. The stress that is taken away is immeasurable. We track you right up until you pull in. 

“Cruising the Med, the Caribbean and Miami is a breeze for our Collective members, who never have to worry about dockage at any time, in any direction. It means the captain can focus on the owner, not where to dock, and under the Trident program, you can also enjoy Forbes Travel Guide recognition of both the crew and the yacht.” 

What’s Next for IGY ? 

Redevelopment at IGY Vieux-Port de Cannes

Redevelopment continues apace at Cannes’ flagship marina, with a newly enhanced mooring area for large yachts and local boaters and improved reception facilities for passengers on cruise ships and local ferries. 

A redesigned port office, parking area, walkways, berths and gardens are being constructed using sustainable building materials and renewable energy. Work will be completed in 2027. 

Caribbean Charter Yacht Show

The third Caribbean Charter Yacht Show kicks off in St. Thomas from November 30th – December 3rd and promises an excellent line up of the most desirable superyachts for charter along with the presence of the industry’s most knowledgeable movers and shakers.  

“It’s one of the most well run, curated yacht shows in the world,” adds Bert. “It highlights the opportunities to charter in this region to the best in the business.” 

Harbor 360 

The ultimate overwater superyacht event space, Harbor 360 at Yacht Haven Grande in St. Thomas, is now open for enquiries! 

A first-time activation for this unique building will see it become the premier spot for fashion and corporate events, film shoots, parties and celebrations. This intimate venue, which can hold 250 guests, is situated in a secure and private location overlooking the world’s most beautiful yachts. 

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: NEOM Sindalah Island 

IGY is partnering with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to operate their state-of-the-art marina at NEOM Sindalah Island. Scheduled to open in early 2024, this gateway to the Red Sea will deliver an amazing, one-of-a-kind experience for discerning guests. 

An all-weather destination, Sindalah Island’s offerings include culinary dining from Michelin star chefs, groundbreaking retail offerings, incredible diving grounds, an exotic golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones and high-end premium hotels.

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