Anton Dolotin
Yachting in Russia

Anton Dolotin

Interview with co-owner of Royal Yacht Club

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For Royal Yacht Club, last season was a special one. The club was developing gradually, but only now it became the way it was conceived. This year the Italian restaurant Tribune opened here, located, as its name suggests, in the stands of the new stadium. Apartments are also finished here, each with its own garden. There are new boat parking lots and a gas station.

Behind all these changes is the figure of the club's co-owner Anton Dolotin. Anton himself, who is also the head of the Russian representative office of Azimut-Benetti, considers his main achievement the fact that he managed to unite many competitors under the club's roof.

This year the Royal Yacht Club for the first time earned at full power. What effort was it all worth?
That's five years of life. You can't buy time, so you can't count the money. The main problem is bureaucracy. Italy, for example, is seriously bureaucratized too. But if the residents and the mayor want to see their project, everything else goes like clockwork. If you compare it with Kiev, where we are planning to build a yacht club, then everything is much easier there too. I really hope that with the arrival of the new mayor of Moscow the situation will improve somewhat.
It was even harder to unite competitors to come to the club. But today almost everyone, except «Burevestnik»Group, has opened offices on our territory.

How did you convince them?
It's a matter of trust. The difficulty is that we represent Azimut and we are the operators of the club. When it comes to our latest acquisition, a direct competitor - PrincessIn the 3-4 years that the site has been in operation, I think the Princess dealer has realized that no one is poaching their customers, that the yacht club has an independent policy. Indeed, there are exemplary cases where a client comes to the club on Sunday morning waiting for one of the dealers. But we won't impose anything on him, because there is an ethics of work. Right now we have Ferretti, Princess, Prestige Yachts, Windy. There are other companies that believed that they would be comfortable as sellers here.

The September Moscow Yacht Show at your yacht club takes place on the same dates as the «Burevestnik»show. How strong is the competition?
I'm against all confrontations, including the exhibition. I believe that the exhibition should be alone. If we talk about us as a yacht club, we have 20 to 30 different events in the summer, the exhibition is not a major PR blow. For us, on the contrary, it is a load. But we really think that from the point of view of the exhibition, the Royal is an ideal platform. The building of the stands itself was built to hold such events. Of all the yacht clubs, we are the closest one to the city centre. In this sense, I think that holding the exhibition in «Burevestnik» is far away. We have been in these discussions for many years now, and I think we will sooner or later come to a scheme like Miami, where different events take place on the same dates at different venues. That would be one of the possible compromises.

If the exhibition is not the main PR blow for you, what is the main one?
First of all, the Summer Fair, the summer version of the Millionaire Fair. The Summer Fair gathers up to 3,000 representatives of our target audience at its opening. Then the season's opening and closing are of the utmost importance to us. Then there is Azimut Summer Day with its also very interesting party.

What is the most important thing for you in the new season?
Tribune, our new restaurant. We own a neighborhood restaurant Royal Barbut we didn't have our own restaurant for club events. The Royal Bar is more of an entertainment venue, I don't think they will compete, on the contrary, two restaurants will attract even more people. Especially, there are days when you can't sit at the Royal Bar. We can say one more point of food, Riviera Coffee Bar. It is located in the building of the club itself and serves mainly the club staff and captains. That's a democratic place to be, too. The concept is analogous to Correa's: you can come in for a chat and take some light food on the road.

What else is new when it comes to events?
I would paraphrase a well-known saying and say: The «new is a well-preserved old»one. Of course, before 2008 there were a lot of plans of sporting, competitive character. These are Class 1 and F1 races. Such events are held only with the support of the city, so around the world. But if the city does not have the opportunity to offset part of the costs, it is impossible to organize races. So we are glad that we were able to save everything else that we had. We used to entertain our client. If he pays more for parking than in other clubs, he must understand what all these activities do for him. It's just that no one is interested in the parking lot anymore.

Published in YACHTS magazine #33.

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