Dayton area to become boating recreation destination

Development in and around the Great Miami River means money for the city of Dayton and local businesses.

With the River Run project expected to be done by the end of the year, News Center 7’s Natalie Jovonovich reported Thursday on the benefits the river is having on our local economy.

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It will make a portion of the Great Miami River through downtown Dayton more of a boating destination — perfect timing, since canoe and kayak registrations are significantly up across the state.

For the last several years, the number of people buying hand-powered boats — canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards — has increased tremendously, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

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Theories as to why that is include higher gas prices have led people to look for alternate ways to have fun and the sport is somewhat affordable.

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“This is our eighth season and we’ve just seen incremental growth every, every year,” said Brian Johnson, marketing manager for Adventures on the Great Miami. “We are seeing hundreds come through a week. We’re actually having trouble keeping up with demand. We’re buying more boats every week. When it’s hot out, there’s nothing better to be on the river, playing around in the water.”

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RiverScape MetroPark — which has capitalized on its proximity to the river — hosted Navy Night on the River Thursday evening.

“For years, downtown Dayton was boring, so now all of a sudden they got this, they got the Dragons, they got the Riverscape, they got the river, so all that in conjunction always helps all of the people come down to Dayton more,” said Harry Fecher, of Kettering.

All boats in Ohio, including canoes and kayaks, have to be registered. The money then goes back into the parks system, used to help fund access for boaters using hand-powered boats.

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