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Kayak-rental kiosk now available at West Bank Park

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Posted at 2:46 PM, May 21, 2024

GREAT FALLS — As the summer heat approaches, residents of and visitors to Great Falls have an exciting new way to enjoy the water, thanks to an innovative venture by Treasure State Outdoors.

This new initiative offers kayaks for rent, right along the Missouri River at West Bank Park.


WATCH:

Kayak-rental kiosk now available at West Bank Park


Steve Herrig, Director of Great Falls Park and Recreation, highlights the benefits: "The benefit is purely folks getting out and enjoying themselves in the city."

Jason Laird, owner of the Treasure State Outdoors, views this as a community investment: "We saw the need, we saw the want for it, and we were in a position to step up and invest in something like this to make it happen."

The idea of providing easy access to the river has long been discussed among community members. Herrig notes, "Comments have always been made to have something like this on the river so people can enjoy it more."



While kayaking is generally a safe activity, both the city and Treasure State Outdoors emphasize the importance of safety.

Laird points out, "You know, it is kayak at your own risk. You can get injured walking across the street just as easily as you can going out on the river for a nice, leisurely kayak ride."

The financial model for this initiative is also noteworthy. The kiosk, funded entirely by Treasure State Outdoors, incurs no initial cost to the city. Over time, the city will benefit from a profit-sharing agreement.

Herrig explains, "It's a split between Jason's company and the city. So there's really nothing the city is on the hook for."

The process for renting a kayak is straightforward and user-friendly, resembling the popular Bird scooter system.

Laird describes the procedure: "It's all phone-based. You take your phone, either scan the QR code or download the Rent.Fun app. Once you do so, it walks you through the steps. As soon as you're done, you've signed the waiver, entered your credit card information, the door pops open, and you take the kayak out. You can use it as long as you want and return it when you're done."

The rental includes life-jackets.

Affordability is a key goal for Treasure State Outdoors. "The first two hours are $25, and then any additional minute is thirty cents," Laird states. "Our whole goal is to bring recreation to Great Falls and Montana in any way we can."

Herrig expresses enthusiasm for the project: "This is exciting for us as a Parks and Rec department. It's all because Jason was willing to work with us and be a great partner. We hope it takes off and we see more kiosks like this, allowing folks to enjoy the river locally."

Click here to visit the Treasure State Outdoors page on Facebook.