Where to open a kayak retreat? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 06-23-2014   #1
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 123
Where to open a kayak retreat?

Lets say I wanted to open a kayak retreat center similar to the Otter Bar in California or Small World Adventures in Ecuador (for the moment lets limit this to the US)

I'd want relatively cheap river-front property, on a river that has a very long season (and preferably isn't ridiculously cold run-off all season). There should be many different sections of river of varying difficulties (II-IV). Relatively remote would be good but I'd like to be able to go a decent grocery store within an hour.

Added bonus (but not required) if a large hub airport is within 2 hours. And rich people who kayak nearby (4 hours?) is always a plus but not required. Also added bonus if I can diversify with bike tours or something similar.

Where in the US should I be looking? Some ideas I've been to:

Ohiopyle/Confluence PA: Good rivers, really long season, good airports, lots of rich people, possibility for bike tours (though a crowded market right now) but not very remote, very hard to buy property in Ohiopyle and less good river access in Confluence.

Buena Vista/Salida/Cotopaxi CO: Great rivers, great play parks, decently long season, kinda expensive, not very remote

Poudre Park CO: Great rivers, short season, fairly remote, hard to buy river front for a reasonable price

I obviously haven't been to many parts of the country to boat so what other areas should I look at? Awesome rivers with a long warm season that could be a "destination" would be the primary criteria that I'd want to hear more about.

Whitewater Workshop Individualized kayaking lessons in the Denver area.
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Old 06-23-2014   #2
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 818
White Salmon, WA. Long season (almost year round), great options class 2-5, lack of available camping.
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Old 06-23-2014   #3
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 5
Southeast. Asheville, NC, Greenville, SC, Erwin, TNů Lots of good paddling with long seasons and fairly warm water. The Green has everything from class II (lower green), class II-III (upper green), and the narrows IV-V. Real estate in Asheville is getting pricey, but there are some great small towns a few minutes outside of Asheville that are nice and reasonably priced. Also, you mentioned you are looking for "rich people" who kayak. There is money in that area, but your target market would probably consist of people from Charlotte and the triangle (Chapel Hill/Raleigh/Durham). I grew up in Western North Carolina so I may be a bit biased, but for what it's worth I now live in Colorado. For more info on these locations hit me up or ask around on BoaterTalk. Good luck!
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