After a turbulent year ascended on Lake Travis, many business owners find themselves preparing for what could be a repeat of last summer as businesses continue reopening to full capacity as COVID restrictions loosen around the state of Texas.
Many described 2020 to be one of the most busy seasons in experience as the beginning of a new boating season approaches.
General Manager of the Nautical Boat Club, Patrick Nee, runs what he describes as a boating country club. Members are able to pay monthly dues to enjoy a fleet of boats ranging from pontoon boats to high performance ski boats without the hassle of maintaining them.
Last season Nautical Boat Club found themselves to be so busy, they had to start turning away prospective members before the season was over due to not having enough boats in their fleet for everyone.
To better prepare for the upcoming season four additional boats have been added to their fleet as well as starting the hiring process for dock crew sooner than previous years to ensure they have all hands on deck to provide a smooth season.
Nee hopes these additional measures will help to provide another successful yet efficient season.
Lance Looper, general manager of Riviera Marina, runs one of the larger marinas on Lake Travis. While Riviera does offer a small variety of boat rentals, they focus primarily on dry storage for private boats. For dry storage marinas, boats are stacked in covered awnings and dock crew work with forklifts to transfer boats to and from the water.
Storing more than 500+ boats within the marina, last season Lance and his crew were so busy they found themselves working until midnight most nights to ensure that each boat made it back to its assigned stack after a day out on the water.
In an effort to prepare for this season quickly approaching more dock space has been added to the few wet slips they offer to ensure there will be more room for incoming and outgoing boats.
One worker on Lake Travis also experienced a much different summer then usual. Alex Bonnette works as a ski boat driver giving tours of Lake Travis and also teaching new boaters an array of water activities.
While Bonnette says he’s worked on the lake for six boating seasons, he’s never experienced a summer like 2020. After preparing the ski boat for the day and loading up all the equipment needed for water activities, he wouldn’t return to the dock until the sun was setting.
Bonnette also explains that in the beginning he was excited about the busy season to come, but when the summer looked to be only half way through he found himself struggling to keep up with the demand.
With more drivers returning this season the expectation is to be prepared for an equally busy summer over 2021, but there will be much needed help to ensure Bonnette isn’t the only driver prepared for the long days