LONG POINT – Sue and Ray Ferris Sr. have sold their last scoop of minnows.
After 45 years as third generation owners and operators of Long Point’s Old Cut Boat Livery, Sue and Ray have sold the business which Ray Sr.’s parents, Harv & Ev sold to them in 1972. The business was originally founded by Shirley and Angus Ferris (Harv’s parents).
The Ferris family’s ownership of The Old Cut Boat Livery isn’t going to end with its recent sale. The business is going to remain in the Ferris family as Sue & Ray’s son, Ray Jr. and his wife Amie have purchased the property.
“My parents are very deserving of their retirement,” said Ray Jr. “After 45 years of working long hours, sometimes from 5AM until 9 and sometimes 10PM, it’s time for my Mom & Dad to do a little fishing on Long Point Bay themselves.”
However, Ferris Jr. doesn’t think that his father is the type of person who will ever retire. “I hope and expect that my Dad will remain an active part of the business. Customers come to see him, hear his stories about Long Point and look at his treasures that decorate the walls.”
Sue & Ray’s first year of owning the Old Cut was an adventurous one. In 1972, Long Point experienced extremely high water levels. So high that Sue & Ray sat their 6- month old son’s playpen on cement blocks to keep him out of the high water that flooded the floors of the Boat Livery.
Amie & Ray Jr.’s plans for the business include continuing to serve the many boaters, anglers and customers that count on The Old Cut Boat Livery as their one stop shopping for a day on Long Point Bay.
“It was always important to my parents that a day on Long Point Bay was affordable for families. That remains important to us too,” commented Ray Jr.
The new owners also have some ideas of their own for what will now become a fourth generation owned and operated business. Right away, more gas pumps, a longer season, increased summer hours, and a food truck will be added to the business.
Amie & Ray Ferris Jr. are also owners of Erie’s Edge Real Estate Ltd. The husband and wife real estate team will be opening a branch office of their real estate firm at the Boat Livery. “It will be business as usual for our real estate brokerage. Amie & I will continue to be involved full-time in our real estate business,” mentioned Ray Jr.
The Ferris’ are eyeing expansion plans for their real estate business. Their long term plans for the property include rebuilding The Old Cut Inn which was built in the early 1930’s by Angus Ferris. It was originally operated as a snack bar and dance hall until 1941 when Angus expanded the Inn and created a large hotel offering meals and rooms to patrons until it was destroyed by fire in the early 1970’s.
“I’ve heard from some of our customers who have been coming here for decades reminisce about The Old Cut Inn,” remembers Ray Jr. “People often talk about my Grandparents’ hospitality and home cooked meals that my Grandma (Ev) served.”
A recent tourism study identified a short-term shortage of accommodations in Norfolk County during peak season. Additionally, Long Point is no longer home to any eat-in restaurants.
“For these reasons I think that there is a need for another Old Cut Inn,” Ray Jr. believes. “It’s also a natural addition to our real estate business.”