Kayak business making its way to Plainfield riverfront

Photo by Marney Simon | Enterprise Staff Electric Park already features walking paths and open fields. This year, a kayak business will join the park, providing boating services from spring through fall.

More visitors are expected this summer not just to the riverfront, but on the river itself. The village has entered an agreement to create Plainfield Kayak, which will operate in Electric Park from May through October.

By Marney Simon | Enterprise Staff

Folks looking for a little outdoor fun will have a new destination spot this summer.

On Feb. 7, the village Board of Trustees approved an agreement allowing Naperville Kayak to provide a kayak service at Electric Park in downtown Plainfield.

The business is also looking to enter an agreement with the Plainfield Park District for the utilization of the 135th Street canoe and kayak launch to link up with Electric Park.

The agreement will create Plainfield Kayak, a full-service kayak operation that will provide beginner classes by certified instructors, kayak rental services, and guided group trips.

The business is already operating the successful Naperville Kayak, which has provided a similar service south of downtown Naperville for the past four years.

According to owner Troy Cooper, their business has nearly doubled or tripled each year, bringing in more than 3,800 people to downtown Naperville to kayak in 2016.

The Naperville Park District reported to the village that they had seen their paddle boat rentals double as well due to the activity.

The business will typically operate from 7 a.m. until dusk, from May through October. The village can terminate operation if the kayak group is not upholding the agreement or has any problems not remedied in a timely manner.

Kayakers will be required to wear a life vest, and no alcohol will be allowed.

Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who can sign a waiver on their behalf. Children aged 13 to 18 maybe on the water without a parent or guardian, but children 12 and under must have a parent or guardian on the water with them at all times.

Instructors will determine water safety, and weather it safe to enter the water on any given day.

Village officials were excited about the prospect of attracting more visitors to the area.

“This is a great program, it’s working out well in Naperville,” said Trustee Margie Bonuchi. “From the Riverfront Foundation’s perspective, it’s going to bring more people, make more awareness to all the wonderful things that are offered down there.”

Plainfield Riverfront Foundation executive director Robert Epley also sent a letter to the board, expressing his support for the business. Epley noted that adding the kayak business will offer tremendous benefit to the village and its president, with the potential of creating a destination of enhance recreational activity that could have an economic impact with residents and visitors in the area.

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