October 14, 2004

Texas/Mexico ferry service planned

The Commissioners of the Port of Corpus Christi , Texas, have approved the execution of a letter of intent with Sophlex Ship Management, Inc. to offer cruise ferry service to the Port of Veracruz, Mexico.

Sophex is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marine Growth Ventures, Inc., Cape Canaveral, Fla.

In April, Marine Growth Ventures (MGV) retained TD Ventures, LLC to pursue transportation opportunities between Texas and Mexico.

According to Captain Timothy Levensaler, Chief Operating Officer of MGV, the effort with TD Ventures, LLC has come to fruition with approval from the Port of Corpus Christi Commissioners, to provide ferry services to Veracruz.

"We're excited by the opportunity to develop cruise ferry operations in Corpus Christi, Texas and look forward to a long and successful partnership with the Port of Corpus Christi," said Frank P. Crivello, MGV's founder.

"Craig Hodgkins, MGV's President, and I long ago concluded that a ferry business based in the Port of Corpus Christi held great promise," noted Levensaler, who added that "the executive staff at the Port of Corpus Christi have been great to work with on this project. "

The Port of Corpus Christi has sought the development of a cruise-ferry service between Corpus Christi and Southern Mexico for the past two years. Sophlex plans a twice-weekly service between Corpus Christi and Veracruz, Mexico. The service will provide an alternate form of transportation to and from Mexico for passengers, vehicles and cargo.

The project has the support of BTT, a major Mexican tour company, the Port of Veracruz, Mexico's National Tourism Department, Corpus Christi CVB, San Antonio CVB, Austin CVB and the State of Texas Department of Economic Development and Tourism. Sophlex will operate two sailings per week from the Port's Congressman Solomon P. Ortiz International Center with approximately 98 sailings per year. "The economic impact of MGV's operation to the Port and Texas will be substantial, not to mention the benefits from the cultural and educational exchange," said Ruben Bonilla, Chairman of the Port of Corpus Christi.


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