cascade Whitewater park input - Mountain Buzz

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Old 03-16-2010   #1
pachuco's Avatar
SLC, Utah
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 13
cascade Whitewater park input

So I am looking for a little feedback. I was approached by a company to run rentals at the new cascade idaho whitewater park. I've never seen a rental booth at the whitewater parks I have been to, usually the local shops take care of all of that. I was wondering what people think about offering kayaks, rafts, and IK's for rent at the park?

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Old 03-16-2010   #2
Salida, Colorado, Colorado
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Seems like a good way to make money and a way to open up the sport to people without gear or friends with gear.

Plus, you work at the feature which is sweet.
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Old 03-16-2010   #3
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Baytopia, Colorado
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when is this park supposed to open? are they class II, III? rentals are a tricky business. Do a market survey.
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Old 03-17-2010   #4
Denver via GJ, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
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1) Figure out an estimate of how much traffic the park is going to generate and realize you will only capture a small percentage of that. I have not been to Cascade for a long time, but if I recall it is not a very large community. Even in this case (other than teaching friends) you may not generate much local activity beyond the initial interest. Your success at the park will be tied to its ability to capture tourists because experienced boaters visiting the area will likely (unless something has went seriously wrong) have their own equipment. For begining boaters you almost need to be able to offer help or shuttles, because as a beginer even eddying out may not be easy.

2) A big question would be liability. I would assume it is not much different than for tubing companies, but do you risk renting when the waters high/wave is big and you know the boaters are not skilled. Not sure how many features they have, but I guess this could be resolved by making a point to point out the beginner features.

3) Having boats onsite would likely increase your rentals, but there will also be a significant amount of down time that you will have to pay hourly for and if the sun is shining people will expect you to be open. Its a double edge sword. One nice thing is you could allow the workers to post a sign and surf when its quite (Happy to help, come on down to the wave, I am in the yellow kayak). That way its a fun summer job.
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Old 03-17-2010   #5
most weekends up on the payettes, Idaho
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I assume you been up there. The float is maybe 2 miles from bridge to bridge and I think there are like 2 or 3 structures (waves/holes)
There will be a walking path and kiosk/building center
I'm not sure who'd be you customers: boaters who want to rent an all out play boat or tourons who want to rent a duckie.

Probably most boaters will have a playboat but who knows.

May look at renting boogie boards, at least if the waves and holes are anything like the gutter, you'll have more boogie boarders than boaters.

This whitewater park is a real shot in the arm for Cascade and Valley county, what with tammarack in the dumps, the mill closing in cascade and general bad economy.

good luck

I think all we are waiting for is water.
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Old 03-17-2010   #6
Central, Idaho
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I was just down there the other day and there were a few boats out but the flow looked like about 300 right now, so the waves/holes are not real impressive just yet. The park should have 5 features and almost all of which are complete.

As for the local shops...there are none...yet. Word has it one of the local guys from Donnelly will be posting up down there this summer. This park has a ton of potential due to it's geographic location. It's close to the Cabarton, Upper, Middle, Lower 5, and Southfork of the Payette. Not to mention the Main Salmon is only an 1.5 hours up the road.

No clue what the vistation will be this summer, but they are giving free kayaking lessons to school kids all summer, have several comps planned, and have a big concert planned as well. Boaters in Boise know whats going on, so my guess is there will be some animation this summer.

This snow year is nothing to get too crazy about but with that in mind it should be one of the few things running later in the summer.

Good Luck!
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Old 03-18-2010   #7
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 121
Question, Are there many boogie boarders at any of the CO playparks? Also, as this park will likely increase traffic in the area, there will be a ton on down time, particularly during the week. I can attest to the fact that Banks is a ghost town during the week. Tube rentals for a lazy float on the weekend might be the way to go.
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Old 03-18-2010   #8
Land of Lovin, Colorado
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Originally Posted by ID Surfer View Post
Question, Are there many boogie boarders at any of the CO playparks? Also, as this park will likely increase traffic in the area, there will be a ton on down time, particularly during the week. I can attest to the fact that Banks is a ghost town during the week. Tube rentals for a lazy float on the weekend might be the way to go.
The smaller waves I've been to definitely have a lot of boogie boarders like Lyons or Salida. About the only play park I've been to that I haven't seen a boogie boarder at is Glenwood, but that wave is huge and usually I see surfers instead of boogie boarders.
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Old 03-23-2010   #9
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South Lake Tahoe, California
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 7
In downtown Reno, Nv. they built a whitewater park a couple of years back. As soon as the weather turns warm, the place looks like a packed water theme park!! The river splits into 2 channels around Wingfield Park. The N channel has the larger drops and waves, while the S chanel has smaller waves /drops and the slalom course. The S channel gets fiiled with kids and families swimming and suntanning and floating the course, then climbing out and doing it again. People walk just up river and get in with everything from inner tubes to air mattresses and float both channels. It is unbelieveable how packed it gets. Also, there is a rental booth set up to rent inner tubes, IK's, and rafts. They take people up river to one of the parks and drop them off to float back down to the ww park. They seem to do a pretty good business- even a couple of miles of floating along is a blast for most. Come down to Reno and check it out, maybe talk to the people that run-it. It could provide alot of answers. I also see them giving rolling and kayak lessons. Also, I guess the park made alot of people happy because last year they built another ww park about 6 miles down river.Good Luck!!
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