Backwoods Fort Worth, the outdoors retailer, launched a kayak and canoe concession Friday on the Trinity River downtown.
Backwoods’ rental rates: single kayaks, $10 per hour and $20 for two hours; tandem kayaks, $15 per hour and $35 per two hours; and canoes, $20 per hour and $40 for two hours. Cash, checks, and credit cards are accepted.
Hours are 11 a.m.-7 p.m. seven days per week through September, when Backwoods will decide fall hours, said Ira Ralston, the kayak concession manager.
“My immediate plan is to be open seven days” a week after September, Ralston said. “On paper, we’ll be open Thursday-Sunday.”
Farther into the fall and even the winter, “it’s weather permitting,” Ralston said. “We would like this to be open as much of the year as possible.”
Rentals include life vests and paddles. From the launch, customers can paddle south down the Clear Fork and back, for about an hour-ride, or up the West Fork and back for as long as four hours, he said.
Backwoods expects to promote the rentals to groups, including scouting, military, and college organizations, Ralston said. It expects to trade off of river festivals such as the Sept. 15 Trinity River Trash Bash and the summertime Rockin’ the River fetes.
“Really, this is an opportunity for us to get our face out there,” Ralston said.
At Aloha Paddles, where rents are $15 per hour for stand-up paddle boards, manager Blane Todd welcomes the company.
“Hit and miss so far this summer,” Todd said Tuesday of Aloha’s first summer on the river. He sees the same promise in the river as Backwoods.
Aloha just switched to fall hours, and is open noon-6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.
“We will be here through the end of October and then we’ll make an assessment at that time” on the schedule, Todd said.
Backwoods and Aloha leased their concessions from the Trinity RiverVision Authority.
Info: Backwoods, (817) 403-6906; Aloha, (817) 403-5330.
- Scott Nishimura, Star-Telegram Fort Worth City Hall reporter