About Us

About Hillside Trams from Marine Innovations

36 Years of Delivering Reliable, Innovative Access to Property

At Marine Innovations, we’re big on people. We’re family-owned and operated, so we appreciate how important your family is to you. That’s why we’ve spent the past 36 years bringing families together with our hillside lift products. Hillside trams, inclined elevators, funiculars, whatever you call them, from that very first 1987 install, we’ve been challenging one hill after another, and we’ve yet to meet one we cannot conquer.

You will increase the value of your original investment when you add an inclined elevator. Your entire property suddenly becomes accessible to everyone, including aging relatives, kids, those with handicaps, etc. It’s no longer an all-day process to get everyone from the house down to the lakeside, not to mention back up again.

Over these past 3 decades, our dedication to superior workmanship and an excellent product, plus our commitment to customer service have made us the go-to for engineering, safety, and troubleshooting information among industry publications, architects, independent contractors and regulatory councils across the country.

These exacting standards allow us to provide the very best warranty in the industry on our inclined elevators. No one else will guarantee structural components for 15 years, 1 year for electrical components and drive/brake cables, and non-structural (gearbox, motor, brakes) for 3 years. But we do; we believe so strongly in the integrity of the products we sell because we build them ourselves, and every square inch has to pass our quality inspections before being installed. We believe in what we build, and we’re proud of the work we do.

1,050+ Installs

38 States

6 Countries

We are Certified and Compliant in the most strict states including: MN, WI, MI, MA, CA, WA.

Marine Innovations’ Production Facility

Marine Innovations History


1984 – Started Botzet Precision Tooling in Carlos (Alexandria), MN. Developed first Bank Hoist.

1991 – Mike and Lori Botzet start Marine Innovations in St Paul to market the Bank Hoist.

1997 – Marine Innovations moves to Frazee, MN with the assistance of Becker County Economic Development.

1999 – Expanded into Texas with Austin Dock, the first Marine Innovations dealer.  Austin Dock and Tram remains a strong and stable Marine Innovations dealer today.

2000 – Expanded manufacturing space and grows the customer base.

2001 – Mike Botzet, Marine Innovations founder, is awarded a US patent for a bank hoist braking apparatus.

2004 – The standardized residential lift is refined and introduced across North America.

2005 – Marine Innovations works to become certified in Michigan. Marine Innovations begins to design specifically for Inclined Elevator code. In addition to Michigan, this helps in California, Oregon, New Jersey and Washington.

2006 – The state of Michigan approves the use of inclined elevators on the Michigan Sand Dunes as they cause less erosion than stair systems.

2006 – Marine Innovations builds a new facility in order to accommodate growth in both commercial and residential markets.

2006 – Marine Innovations completes their first international installation in Costa Rica, providing essential access for the client.

2008 – Marine Innovations develops a dealer network stretching across the United States and Canada. The company helps create a local dealership to manage sales and service. Allowing the company to focus on manufacturing and complex commercial and residential projects.

2011 – Marine Innovations starts the year strong, recovering from the recession that impacted the country for several years.

2012 – Nicholas Botzet, (Mike and Lori’s son) joins Marine Innovations as sales and project manager, creating a true family business.

2013 – Marine Innovations has a record sales year with strong sales across North America.

2018 – Marine Innovations made a major investment in a waterjet cutting center and press brake to gain greater control in production scheduling and streamline manufacturing.

2021 – Marine Innovations adds Bend-Tech Dragon A400 is a CNC plasma cutting, marking and engraving machine, increasing the efficiency and precision manufacturing of our products.

Today – Marine Innovations is busier than ever. We provide projects from concept to completion with our proprietary residential trams and complex custom commercial systems, utilizing our in-house design, engineering and production facility. We’re constantly expanding our capabilities, investing in new technology and maintaining our focus on research and development.

If you’d like to know more about our company or talk with one of us, please give us a call. We’d be happy to answer your questions and help you make the most of your property by adding a state-of-the-art inclined elevator or hillside tram.