BOISE -- One of the biggest tourism boons for Idaho's capital city -- the Boise River -- is open for business. And floating the river is proving to be popular, not just with locals, but with tourists as well.
This is the first weekend for the shuttles, raft rentals, and Barber Park to be officially open for floating on the Boise River. With that comes a big boost to local businesses, and tourism for the city of trees, as people come from all over to experience the popular pasttime.
Epley's Boise River Rentals provides all the tubes and rafts in Barber Park. Connie Zeller, owner of Epley's, says business is good. But, she says business is almost always good, and gets better every year.
"On busy days, we have three buses running every 20 minutes," said Zeller. "We have equipment trucks running every 20 minutes that are bringing equipment back to us. And, it's not uncommon for everything in our inventory to be out the door."
Ada County Commissioners say the river, and the recreation and tourism businesses that rely on it, aren't just enjoyed by Boiseans.
"This is a huge asset to Ada County, Boise City, and the Treasure Valley," said Commissioner Rick Yzaguirre. "People come from all over to take advantage of this summer event. And, I know we've had over 100,000 people actually float the river in the last couple years."
"It's starting to become a destination event for folks to come and experience," added Commissioner Jim Tibbs.
"More and more people are finding out about this, and want to enjoy it," said Zeller. "And, we have people from all over."
People like Jack Peterson and the Pateadores girls' soccer team out of California.
"This is one of the things that we had on our bucket list in Idaho to do," said Peterson. "We've gone to some of the restaurants, and this our last thing to do here. So, we're excited."
They're in town for a tournament, and on their off-day, like many visitors to Boise, just had to float the river.
"A couple of people had been here before, and had relatives, and they recommended this to us," said Peterson. "They said it's a fun place to come out, have a good time and soak up the sun."
Zeller says, "People come, they experience the river, and then they're excited to bring people back."
If you're looking to float yourself, the rental shop opens at 11 a.m. on the weekends, and noon during the week. It closes at 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and at 6 p.m. on Friday and the weekend.