May 14, 2009
City considers jet ski, kayak rentals on North Beach
A year after he floated the idea, Brett Kaydo is ready to start renting jet skis and kayaks on North Beach.
Kaydo, who owns a lawn service and landscaping company, appeared before the city's Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Board Wednesday to present his plans for Pier 29 Water Sports Rentals. He proposed the idea last year, but hadn't worked out many details on the business. This year he returned with a detailed plan and signs of progress.
His business already has an office at Pugh Marina, equipment to rent and $1 million in insurance.
"There were a lot of 'what-ifs' last year," Kaydo said in an interview Thursday. "This year everything is set and ready to go."
Kaydo now just needs city permission to rent the equipment on North Beach. He's working with the City Attorney's office to establish guidelines for the business, which would operate away from the beach's main swimming area, Kaydo said. He then needs approval from the parks board and the full City Council.
Prices are still be worked out, but Kaydo estimated jet skis would rent for $90 per hour and kayaks for $25-$30 per hour. Only people 18 and over would be allowed to drive the jet skis, but children could ride with an adult, Kaydo said.
Day, half-day and half-hour rentals also will be available, he said.
Pier 29 would add another fun, family activity to North Beach, Kaydo said. With no comparable businesses in southeastern Wisconsin, Kaydo said he hopes people travel from Milwaukee and northern Illinois to hang out on North Beach and rent the equipment.
"It's another way to utilize North Beach," Kaydo said. "(The beach) is a great asset to the community."
The business itself is set up at Pugh Marina, but Kaydo and his employees would rent the equipment from a tent on North Beach, likely on the north end away from the main crowds. A wireless credit card reader would take payment on site. He estimated it would take 10 minutes for people to pay and be in the water.
If all goes well, Kaydo said he hopes to add equipment over time. He's already looking into renting small boats and other types of water recreation vehicles.
"This is trial-and-error year," Kaydo said. "We're open to any ideas."