By Brian Sherman for The Island Eye News
Following a lengthy and still-not-completed legal battle with the city of Isle of Palms, Tidal Wave Water Sports is no longer doing business at the IOP Marina. According to Michael Fiem, co-owner of Tidal Wave, the business is now operating out of its Charleston location. “I moved everything downtown for logistics purposes. It’s a lot easier to operate from downtown right now because the staff all live downtown,” Fiem said. The legal battle between Tidal Wave and the city of IOP apparently isn’t over, however. Emerging from executive session near the end of their regularly scheduled Sept. 29 meeting, the IOP City Council voted unanimously to pass Council
Member John Moye’s motion to “reject the proposal and authorize counsel to proceed with negotiations.” Fiem said his attorneys offered the city another proposal after the Council’s Sept. 29 decision, but neither side was willing to provide details of the negotiations. Fiem admitted, though, that he doesn’t expect his business to return to the Marina. “I would like to come back, but I don’t think the city will have us,” he said. “No matter what, we’re going to be out.” He said the current negotiations are about “basically a termination deal with court costs and other things.” “We have totally rejected their offer – every aspect of it,” IOP Mayor Jimmy Carroll said after the Sept. 29 meeting. “They are not supposed to be there. The judge ruled against them.”
A July 7 court case that was to determine whether the city had legally terminated Tidal Wave’s lease at the Marina was declared a mistrial because one of six jurors refused to agree with the other five in favor of the city. IOP later submitted a motion for summary judgment, and, on Aug. 6, Chief Magistrate Thomas E. Lynn ruled that IOP was within its rights when it voted on April 23, 2019, to end Tidal Wave’s lease. The Fiem brothers contended that the Council was ending the lease “as written,” and that a new agreement would be negotiated.