The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Young entrepreneurs open stand for kayaks

 

Diana Zimmerman

Ethan Fitzgerald and Noah Heim were out in the pouring rain last Thursday setting up the first kiosk for their kayak rental business at the Elochoman Slough Marina.

Two young entrepreneurs, Ethan Fitzgerald and Noah Heim, of Willapa Kayak Rentals LLC, have placed their first Kayak Kiosk at Elochoman Slough Marina in Cathlamet, with the goal of making it easier for people to enjoy local waterways.

The pair have known each other since they were kids. Growing up in southwest Washington, they noticed there wasn't a whole lot of available recreation activity in the area while there was a lot of great places to go kayaking, Fitzgerald said. They also thought that owning and transporting a kayak was too much of a hassle for most people.

"We want to make it easier for people to enjoy the great outdoors and experience nature up close," Fitzgerald said.

An automated rental system allows renters to select a kayak and the number of hours they intend to rent the boat. After that, all they have to do is swipe their credit card.

"A locker will open with a lifejacket, paddles, and a map of the surrounding waterways," Fitzgerald said. "The kayak will unlock and can be removed from the rack. The whole process takes about five minutes."

It costs $15 for one hour, or $10 an hour for more than two.

 

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