Less than two months in, Matt Perry, owner and operator of Riverside Outfitters, says the Brown’s Island experiment is going well — in some ways better than he’d imagined. In early June, Perry and the RO team opened up an outpost at the ticket kiosk on Brown’s Island where bikes, kayaks and standup paddleboards are available for rent.
They’re only open three days a week — Friday-Sunday (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) — but he said so far, signs are very encouraging. “I’m happy with what I’m seeing. There hasn’t been enough time yet to identify any trends or patterns, but we are seeing that Saturday is the busiest day.”
Perry said they’ve had a number of occasions where all seven paddleboards and all seven kayaks have been out at the same time. That was the case for two hours in the middle of the day yesterday (Sunday, 7/15), for instance.
“It really has been a mix of visitors and locals,” he added. “I would say mostly locals, and of those, most are newer to Richmond — like within the last year. [They’re] still in that getting-out-and-seeing-what-Richmond-has-to-offer mode. They’re looking for something new.”
Biking hasn’t been nearly as popular as the water options, which makes sense in depths of summer. Perry said he expects bike rentals to pick up when the weather cools.
Bikes rent for $10 an hour. Boards and boats are each $15 per hour.