STEELE CREEK — When real estate investor Paul Montelongo set eyes on the most picturesque property he’d come across, he quickly made it the most picturesque property he’s ever owned.
“The biggest thing is, it’s just a sweet location,” said the Las Vegas-based entrepreneur, who two months ago purchased Long Cove Marina & Yacht Club in Steele Creek.
Long Cove spent decades in the Grubenhoff family, most recently run by Diana Grubenhoff who came from Florida to help her family clean up after Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and never left. Grubenhoff became an active community member and her scenic photographs from Long Cove still hang in local restaurants and the Lake Wylie Chamber of Commerce.
“She and her family did a great job at Long Cove for 30 years,” said Susan Bromfield, chamber president and friend. “She came here when her family needed her. She came up to help as a good family member.”
Montelongo heard from an associate there was a marina on Lake Wylie he needed to see. He first noticed how the lake faces the sunset from the property. He also saw a broad appeal.
Long Cove offers wet and dry dock storage, camping, a pool, beachfront, a bathhouse and fishing.
“This is a unique property,” Montelongo said. “That was part of the appeal. It’s not a one dimensional property.”
He has ideas for a few more dimensions. Plans are to reconfigure amenities on the more than 14-acre property, most notably the highest point overlooking the lake where Montelongo envisions an events venue. He already has a wedding booked for the summer and another for fall.
Hopes are for corporate events, weddings and all sorts of social gatherings. Long Cove will host a Chamber event April 24.
“The idea is to make it a destination venue for the local area, for events,” Montelongo said.
The marina also has an ongoing facelift to help keep and draw members. Bathhouse renovations, a redone pool, secure dry lot storage and automation of the payment system are done or in the works. New ownership arrived to about 240 members. Montelongo said there is room for plenty more.
“Easily our goal this year, we’ll probably achieve 400 members,” he said.
April begins peak season at Long Cove, where a half dozen boat slip requests and several pool membership inquiries a week aren’t uncommon. The new owner plans to stay on-site for a while longer as Long Cove grows through its busiest season. And, perhaps, to take in the view just a while longer.
“Picturesque really is the best word,” Montelongo said. “It’s the most picturesque view of any property on the lake. This is the most picturesque piece of property I’ve ever owned.”
As Bromfield prepares for the chamber event later this month, she’s pleased to see so much enthusiasm at a place that’s provided so much to the area for decades.
“There’s been a lot of love and good times on that property,” she said.
John Marks • 803-831-8166