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By Robert Connors
Managing Editor 

Lake Wailes Park to Offer Kayak Rentals

City Parks Division Seeking New Recreational Opportunities

 

Last updated 5/10/2022 at 10:01am

The new kayak and paddleboard rental installation will be located adjacent to the boat ramp on the north shore of Lake Wailes.

A locker system offering rentals of kayaks and paddle boards will soon be installed in Lake Wales Park, following city commission approval of a pilot program.

The rental program will be created in partnership with a company called Rent.Fun. The idea was proposed by Recreation Manager Stephanie Edwards as an inexpensive way to offer more opportunities for citizens to get on the water and enjoy the outdoors.

"People are going to love these self-service options," Edwards said. "As the city grows in population, we want to provide fun solutions to keep people active and outdoors," she added.

The rental "cage" will be placed adjacent to the boat launch ramp on the north side of Lake Wailes. Residents and visitors wioll be able to access the floating devices from the automated lockers using a credit or debit card. Each rental will include paddles,, accessories and lifejackets.

The initial cost of the pilot program will be paid for by the city, and recovered by a portion of the rental fees which Rent.Fun will pay back to the city. Once the initial cost has been repaid the contractor will retain a larger share of the fees, but the city will continue to receive a small portion, which will be used to help fund future recreation needs.

The rental equipment is expected to be installed by late May. If the program proves popular it may be expanded to other services. Among rental options mentioned by the commission was the potential for paddle boat rentals on Crystal Lake.

Pay-per-use or monthly and yearly subscriptions are available. Users are required to register for an account on the mobile app Rent.Fun, sign a waiver and submit payment. Minors must be registered by an adult.

"The locker system is convenient and easy to use," Edwards said. "As we see an increase in demand, we plan to add more rentable solutions," she added.

Six kayaks and two paddle boards will be available for rent in the initial pilot.

 

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