Detroit River Sports brings water sports access to all

The Detroit River is one of the city's greatest assets and a handful of entrepreneurs are building a business on the idea of making that asset available to everyone.

Detroit River Sports began offering rentals for small watercraft on Belle Isle earlier this month. Patrons can rent kayaks, canoes and paddle boards at the lagoon next to the Detroit Yacht Club.

"For the people who don't have that luxury (of owning a boat), it's hard to get on the river," says Andy Dold, co-founder of Detroit River Sports. "We want to make it accessible to everybody."

Dold co-founded the 1-month-old company with Brian Ellison and Alex Howeert. All three love to kayak and enjoy the Detroit River with small watercraft. They saw a demand for helping people enjoy the same experience in the city so they secured funding from the Community Investment Support Fund to launch the business this spring.

Detroit River Sports will remain open until this fall as long as the weather permits. Dold says his company plans to find a permanent location later this year so it can offer both rental and retail options. It also hopes to break into offering tours and youth programs as it continues to grow.

Source: Andy Dold, co-founder of Detroit River Sports
Writer: Jon Zemke

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