Business Profile: Skip’s Huron River Canoe Livery heading up stream with new owners 

Skip’s Huron River Canoe Livery has been around for 46 years but was sold two years ago to Tyler Soja and Nate Pound. The business partners have made a lot of fun changes both in and out of the water in their first year and now more recently in their second year as owners.

They are taking this already established business up the river to even bigger heights.

Skip’s Huron River Canoe Livery is a rental company located in Delhi Metro Park in Ann Arbor, and their trips operate out of Hudson Mills and Dexter-Huron Metroparks in Dexter. They offer canoe, one and two-person kayaks and tube rentals.

“We make a day on the water fun and easy,” says Pound. “We handle the transportation up-river, set up everyone with boats, paddles, tubes, river gear, etc., and you paddle or float at your leisure back to Skip’s at Delhi where the customer is parked. We are family-friendly, pet-friendly, welcome small and large groups and work trips.”

Pound works in healthcare, but fell in love with the outdoors as a kid. He grew up canoeing and fishing local rivers and lakes, and also spent many summers canoeing the Au Sable River with his family.

“Somehow, the stresses of daily life seem to be minimized after being outdoors and on the water,” he says.

So buying Skip’s Huron River Canoe Livery seemed like a perfect fit.

“We had a great first year,” Pound says. “Skip’s has been around for a long time but we sort of reinvented the business going into 2018 with a new logo and website. We also added online reservations which guaranteed customers a set trip time with the watercraft they desired. We added new equipment including vans, trailers, kayaks, canoes and tubes.”

They also created a promotional partnership with Wolverine Brewing Co. in Ann Arbor and developed some great relationships with local organizations such as the Huron River Watershed Council.

New this year is a partnership with Aubree’s. Any customer going on a regularly priced paddle trip with Skip’s on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday will receive a Redemption Card for a free Aubree’s Bread or Beer at Aubree’s Dexter location.

They also recently introduced a new event, a Glow Paddle.

“We have created a guided night paddle, to our knowledge, the only one offered in Michigan and the Midwest,” says Pound. “Two guides accompany 12 customers per trip in color-changing, LED-equipped, Sit-On Kayaks. This paddle trip is for ages 10 or older and offered Wednesday and Friday nights.”

Pound says the reaction to the guided night paddles has been extremely positive.

“Some people have asked about insects on the water at night and being attracted to the lights, but it hasn’t been too bad,” he says. “LED lights that are mounted on our kayaks don’t attract bugs like traditional light bulbs because LED’s emit very little light in the UV spectrum and very little heat – factors that draw in bugs as seen with incandescent bulbs.”

Just in case, they offer complimentary insect repellant.

For more information on Skip’s Huron River Canoe Livery, call 734.769.8686 or log onto www.paddlethehuron.com

 

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