ROGUE VALLEY, Ore.– Water, sun, and a little bit of sunscreen are all that’s needed if you’re heading to the river this Labor Day. The holiday weekend is capping off what’s been an incredibly, busy and successful summer season.
It’s one of the last hurrahs of the summer and for rafting companies that means big business. But besides the heavy traffic of Labor Day, this is shaping up to be one of the best summers for these companies in a while.
“Yeah it’s been a very successful year for all of us up here,” said Dennis Hall, operations manager for Raft the Rogue Raft Rentals.
Following several years of smoky summers, this year’s rafting along the Rogue River couldn’t be more perfect.
“Oh yeah, it’s been a two thumbs up year,” said Hall.
Based in Shady Cove, Hall says this season has been unbelievable. Their company has already hit record numbers.
“It’s already a record year. We set a gross receipt record just a few days ago,” he said. “Everything from here on out is uncharted ground for us.”
Hall says almost every company is benefiting from this year’s little smoke and a lot of water and customers agree it’s been a great year.
“It’s perfect timing with the weather and the flow and I think it’s going to be enjoyable today,” said Greg Wilt, a resident from Eagle Point. He and his wife came out on Labor Day to enjoy the river.
On the south end in Gold Hill, Rogue Rafting Company says clear skies have been a gift.
“With all that smoke it definitely slowed things down,” said owner Ben Banson. “But yeah, we were a little nervous back in July when it got a little smoky but it was short-lived.”
Now as people return to enjoy summers on the river, business is back to normal.
“Right now is a pretty fun water level and I think all the rafting companies benefit from it,” he said.
With more fun still to be had, chances are this won’t be the last hurrah of summer to raft the Rogue. Several of the rafting companies say they usually start to wrap up by September. However, this year they may try to go as long as mid-October.
NBC5 News Reporter Miles Furuichi graduated from Chapman University with degrees in English and Journalism. He received post graduate experience in Los Angeles in photojournalism and commercial photography. He also spent time in Dublin, Ireland working in print journalism and advertising.
Miles is a Rogue Valley native, raised in Ashland. He enjoys hiking, mountain biking and photography.