Greenville searches for permanent boat rental vendor

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — More restrictions are being placed on Town Common boat ramp.

Knee Deep Adventures was excited to see the ramp open in the summer, letting them rent out canoes and kayaks to the community.

But now things are changing as Greenville begins a search for a permanent vendor.

“It is a privilege to be able to do private business in a public park,” said Gary Fenton, director of Greenville Recreation and Parks.

Knee Deep Adventures in Greenville knows that; they put in 700 paddlers last year.

But that privilege has been suspended.

Fenton said the city will begin its search for a permanent town common kayak and canoe vendor..

:”If someone is benefiting on the private sector, there’s nothing wrong with that,” Fenton said. “Business is important to our community. But on the other side, we have to benefit as well. It has to be a win-win.”

A win-win for the city involves a vendor at the boat ramp, which will both draw in people to the water and share their profit with the city.

So why is Knee Deep Adventures being pushed out right now?

“I think the city is looking at the perspective as ‘We don’t want to look as if we have pre-favored anybody,’” said Fenton. “’Why do they get to do it, and I’ve never been invited to do it?’”

But Kelsey Curtis, the owner of Knee Deep Adventures, is concerned. She built her business from the ground up with her own money three years ago with Greenville’s permission to work out of the Town Common’s boat ramp.

“We’ve been following those rules, and we were super shocked that we come back to work this week and find out we’re no longer allowed to be at Town Common,” said Curtis.

“This is directly affecting our business operations,” Curtis added. “We will suffer from it; no doubt about it.”

Fenton said Knee Deep Adventures will be considered for the permanent vendor spot as long as they show interest and fill out the correct forms.

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