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October 15, 2021

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Too Orangey For Business

Mixing business and pleasure at Augusta’s downtown waterfront

Angela Wing demonstrates how a transportable and inflatable standup paddleboard is in a backpack at Southern Kennebec SUP Rentals on Thursday in Augusta. Southern Kennebec SUP is a single of four business that will be opening on Entrance Avenue this summertime. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Acquire this Picture

AUGUSTA — When Angela Wing and Keith Bellefleur observed the listing for space available for hire on Augusta’s Entrance Street before this 12 months, they arrived at out appropriate absent.

Wing and Bellefleur, owners of Southern Kennebec SUP Rentals, were searching for a base for their company all through a year of changeover, and the area struggling with the Kennebec River in downtown Augusta seemed like the perfect in shape.

They and the house owners of a few other corporations will consider gain of the seasonal spaces at the lowest level of 275-283 H2o St.

“The whole strategy is to get points likely on the river,” setting up proprietor Richard Parkhurst claimed.

For decades, as the buildings in downtown Augusta have gone through redevelopment, the challenge has been to discover means to connection Water Street with the riverfront. When most riverfront communities had been founded across New England in the 18th and 19th centuries their buildings faced away from rivers, which have been utilised for power generation, transportation and waste disposal. But in the 21st century, rivers are viewed as an asset and a attract.

To support concentrate notice on the Kennebec River, Parkhurst leased out the areas that experienced been utilized for storage with the understanding that the business proprietors would cleanse out the areas and make them available and usable and be open for enterprise by July 1 for at the very least two months to choose benefit of the summertime year on the river.

Each of the businesses has some connection with the river.

Brothers Joel and John Bennett at East Stage Recreation are now ending up the paper do the job they have to have complete to able to rent personal watercraft.

Brad Wallace, a husband or wife in the Raging Bull Saloon, options to market picnic tables and Adirondack chairs by way of River Wooden, a woodworking enterprise, and he’ll also have vending devices to sell drinks and treats and have fishing deal with and sunscreen available for sale. He’ll have samples of furniture on exhibit.

“I do a little little bit of anything,” Wallace said.

Wallace stated he’s invested about two days so much cleaning out the room, which includes silt on the floors remaining from floods. He mentioned he’s still figuring out what he’s likely to do with the room, and how he’ll screen his home furniture.

He claimed acquiring businesses is his enthusiasm, and the place opened up an possibility for him. If he can, he said, he’d like to provide Xmas trees and wreaths later in the 12 months.

Artist Chad Healey will also have an artwork studio area, which he introduced on his Fb webpage. Tries to get to Healey had been unsuccessful.

For the Bennett brothers, who started working the concept past wintertime, the availability of the house helped provide an concept that stemmed from their longstanding fascination in electrical power sporting activities to fruition.

“We have a couple corporations in the space, and we desired to increase,” Joel Bennett mentioned. They personal a moving firm and do welding and fabrication in the region. “We think we can make a effectively-identified, exciting exercise in the location. It’ll be a major weekend organization for us.”

The watercraft will be out there for rental on the docks on the west back of the river, Bennett explained, and they will give everyday living jackets and instruction on how to run them.

Keith Bellefleur stands beside a rack of boards Thursday at Southern Kennebec SUP Rentals in Augusta. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Get this Image

Wing and Bellefleur truly opened earlier this thirty day period, from 10 a.m., to 4 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and could increase their hrs based mostly on waterfront occasions. They also produce and decide up paddleboards during the week inside of a 30-mile radius of Augusta.

Whilst they commenced the business by renting and delivering paddleboards, they included profits a yr ago simply because of increased demand because of to the pandemic and will carry on that this 12 months. They also prepare to rent out fishing kayaks and will include fats bicycle rentals later on this calendar year for the slide and winter.

“I’m hoping we see the exact same craze go on, mainly because people have understood they actually like to do these other functions that have not been indoors,” Wing stated.


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