Gull River tube rentals get green light
By Chad Ingram
Published June 7, 2018
Minden Hills council has approved a proposal from Minden River Run, which will provide tube rentals and a shuttle service, allowing people to float from Rotary Park into Minden’s downtown, this summer.
Rob Rutkowski first made a presentation to councillors during a May 10 committee-of-the-whole meeting.
“The business I’m proposing is a tube rental business,” Rutkowski said. “Locals and tourists can come and rent tubes for a fixed price and float down the Gull River, starting at Rotary Park, and ending at Bobcaygeon Road.”
Rutkowski was seeking a number of permissions from council, including setting up a tent in Rotary Park and establishing a downtown pick-up location for a shuttle.
He told council he would try to encourage his customers to park downtown, as to not fill up the relatively small parking area at Rotary Park. He added that having customers park downtown may also result in some economic spinoff.
“Once the people get out of the Gull River . . . they’d have to walk from there over to the municipal parking lot, hence passing the farmers’ market, and the businesses downtown as well, so hopefully that can generate some business,” he said.
Rutkowski said he also plans to talk to downtown merchants about a potential partnership, where they would offer some kind of special discount to customers wearing the wristbands that Minden River Run will use, the wristbands essentially acting as coupons.
“This wristband will represent any kind of discount that the businesses would like to offer,” he said.
Mayor Brent Devolin called the proposal “exciting stuff,” noting there hadn’t been many summers in the past 40 years he’d missed floating down the Gull.
“This has been discussed for decades, that we should do something like this, but nobody has ever put a concrete plan behind the notion, so I really appreciate that you’ve come forward with so much detail,” said Councillor Jeanne Anthon. “Do you foresee that you would be operating every day of the week . . . how do people book you, so that you know there’s some interest for a particular day?”
Rutkowski said he was preparing a website, through which customers would be able to contact him. Depending on interest and weather, the idea is for the business to operate from mid-June through mid-September.
Rutkowski said he planned to have staff members Smart Serve-certified, and that anyone who appeared to be under the influence of alcohol would not be permitted to rent tubes. He also noted the tubes will have mesh bottoms, so floaters can’t fall through the centre.
During their May 31 meeting, councillors approved the proposal.
Minden River Run will pay a rental fee of $500, and a rental agreement established, to set up a tent in Rotary Park for the season. The tent is to be taken down and stored at the end of each day.
The pick-up location for the shuttle service will be along Prince Street. The township will install an extra ladder at the town dock near Bobcageon Road to accommodate an increased number of people using the dock.
Minden River Run must provide $5 million worth of liability insurance.