RiverLink and partners open outdoor gear rental/retail on French Broad River

PRESS RELEASE from RiverLink:

Asheville Adventure Rentals, a local, family-owned and operated business, hosts its grand opening party on Saturday, June 9, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at 704 Riverside Drive. AAR is a full-service gear rental, retail and instruction company located right on the French Broad River. High-quality rental and retail inventory includes whitewater, recreational and touring boats, Stand Up Paddleboards (SUP), fishing gear and camping essentials. Self-guided and scheduled float and fishing trips are offered on the French Broad River through the Biltmore Estate, River Arts District and some of the best fishing spots on the river.

The concept for Asheville Adventure Rentals developed in response to an RFP released by RiverLink for a commercial outfitter to run an outdoor store and float trips on the French Broad River.

“We selected Derek and Melissa from a number of possible applicants/tenants because of their professional backgrounds, experience and demeanor,” explained RiverLink Executive Director Karen Cragnolin. “Their energy and enthusiasm as well as their thoughtful and careful attention to detail were what put them over the top in our mind. This new outdoor recreation center (AAR) is a vital link in RiverLink’s plans for the north end of the Wilma Dykeman RiverWay.”

AAR quickly evolved from a small rental/livery shop, to a full-service retail store with a focus on paddlesports. High-end brands including Kokatat, Pyranha, NRS, Smith Optics, Deuter, Werner Paddles, and Snapdragon skirts will be available for purchase. To ensure that all people are able to pursue their outdoor pursuits almost all retail products are also available for rent at a reasonable price.

In addition to rental and retail, AAR also offers affordable instruction. Rather than create more competition in an already saturated market of kayak instructors by opening their own paddle-school, AAR has partnered with two small-businesses focused on kayak instruction — Girls at Play and H2o Dreams. Instruction includes SUP, SUP Yoga, whitewater and recreational kayaking.

The grand opening party is scheduled for June 9, 10 a.m. — 4 p.m. The festivities will include beer graciously donated by Sierra Nevada and Sweetwater as part of their Save the Wild Rivers campaign; and food available for purchase at the Low-Down Food Truck.

The schedule of events and workshops for the day includes:
10 a.m. — Yoga for Kayakers (dry land) and the Kayak Roll (water).
11 a.m. — Intro to Whitewater Kayaking (water).
12:30 p.m. — Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga (water).
2 p.m. — Kayaking Basics for Anglers (water), Intro to Whitewater for Women (water), Intro to SUP (water).
3 p.m. — Breathing for Kayakers (dry land).

Asheville Adventure Rentals is located at the corner of Pearson Bridge Road and Riverside Drive (map of 704 Riverside) right on the French Broad River. RiverLink is a local non-profit working to revitalize the French Broad River as a place for everyone to live, work and play.

Located in Asheville’s River Arts District, RiverLink is a regional organization spearheading the economic and environmental revitalization of the French Broad River watershed as a destination where everyone can work, live and play.

For more information about how you can get involved, see our Web site: www.riverlink.org, or contact us at information@riverlink.org or by phone at 252-8474.

About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

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