Whitewater Express opens new store in Columbus - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Whitewater Express opens new store in Columbus

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COLUMBUS, GA - Whitewater express is opening up a new store, but this time it's on the Columbus side of the river

Whitewater express opened a two and a half mile course on the Chattahoochee in May of 2013. Until Saturday, their only store was located in Phenix City, but now they have a new place for rafters to go in Columbus.

“We have been anxious to do this because the community has been from day one been involved and so supportive,” said Dan Gilbert, President of Whitewater Express. “And they've taken ownership of the river, and of the outfitter and we absolutely love it.”

Gilbert says that they have sent more than 16,000 people down the river since May. He says that business has been good for them, and also for nearby stores and restaurants. That's something Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson is excited about.

“It's a great moment to have Whitewater Express here on our shore in addition to our good friends over there in Phenix City,” said Tomlinson. “We can get ourselves a spirited competition of how many receipts you can get a year. That's our objective, but it's all good.”

The new store on Bay Street is right next to the rapids. The extra building and the closer location will help the business grow.

“We're trying to prepare for what's coming,” said Gilbert. “Projections are that in 10 years we'll have 155,000 people coming to town. I think in two or three years we'll easily see 30,000 to 50,000. So with that many people coming to the region, we need more than one store. We're going to use both the Phenix City store and the Columbus store to the fullest. We will need them this summer.”

In September, USA Today named the whitewater course on the Chattahoochee as one of the 12 greatest man made adventures on the planet. And with the new building, Whitewater Express hopes it can get that many more people in the rapids.

Whitewater Express is also building a brand new facility in Phenix City and a zip line that will take customers across the river.

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