Business owner: W. MI boating industry booming

Ottawa County

HUDSONVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — So many businesses have been closed by the coronavirus pandemic, some of them have even tried to find ways to reopen, unsuccessfully; prompting Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to release an amended order clarifying in detail exactly what can and cannot be open. 

Action Water Sports in Hudsonville and their Action Wake Park say an exemption from the governor’s desk allows them to remain open. 

In so doing, they report their sales have surged in recent weeks, selling boats, accessories and supplies faster than ever before.

“The rush was, I think, unlike anything we’ve experienced before and we prepared as much as we could for it,” Jathan Koetje of Action Water Sports said. “I truly believe that while things may be different this summer, that this summer has presented an opportunity to bring your family together, probably more than ever.”

Families looking for something fun to do this summer may have found difficulty between cruise cancelations, businesses closing and vacations pushed back. 

Koetje says families looking for fun all found boating, seemingly at once. 

“The demand has been so high.; I think when all of the families were searching for something to do, it kind of narrowed in on like… well, boating. Boating is something we could definitely do this summer,” Koetje said. “Here at Action Water Sports we’ve seen a lot of new families get on the water this summer. And inquire about boats and what that looks like for their family.”

With many varying options available from fishing boats to yachts. Koetje says the conversation is one he loves having with families, helping them get on the water as quickly as possible. 

“People love the water in Michigan. I mean, if you live in Michigan, you’re familiar with the lake, especially on the weekends. You know the season is very limited however,” Koetje said. “We live for the summer and we live to be on the water. So, the more people that we can help out in order to do that, to get on the water this summer, the better.”

If a boat and water sports in general are something you’ve been curious about but haven’t wanted to purchase a watercraft, Action Water Sports created Action Wake Park to give the curious a chance to experience water sports without a boat. 

“We developed Action Wake Park to kind of bring water sports to people so they can get out and enjoy water sports, learn wake boarding, water skiing, knee boarding without the barrier of a boat,” Koetje said. “As you see these attractions, such as amusement parks — the Disney Worlds of the land, kind of came to a halt, or drastically changed their business; Action Wake Park was one of those entities that was able to stay open.”

They say an exemption listed on the governor’s latest executive order made it possible for them to stay open. 

Line 9 states the exemptions:

“The restrictions imposed by sections 4 of this order do not apply to any of the following:

a. If they are outdoors, fitness classes athletic practices, training sessions, or games, provided that coaches, spectators, and participants not from the same household maintain six feet of distance from one another at all times during such activities, ad that equipment and supplies are shared to the minimum extent possible and are subject to frequent and thorough disinfection and cleaning.” 

“You combine water and fun and you can abide by all those things. I think it was a perfect recipe for success for people to get on the water this summer, without the barrier of a boat,” Koetje said. “It’s just you and your family and as a boater myself, I wouldn’t want to spend the summer in any other place.”

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