ROXBURY, NJ – A company that rented personal watercraft on Roxbury’s Horseshoe Lake this summer is considering the same type of operation for Lake Hopatcong in Landing.
The company, Ramsey Outdoor, is thinking about renting kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddleboards on a small peninsula next to Lake’s End Marina, land Roxbury plans to lease from the state and turn into a park. The property fronts Landing Channel, a quiet piece of water once used by steamboats on Lake Hopatcong.
“There’s not too much to talk about yet,” said Ramsey Outdoor Vice President Michael Levine. “It’s still very exploratory.”
Levine said the possibility of personal watercraft rentals on Landing Channel was raised during a recent discussion he had with representatives of the Lake Hopatcong Foundation. “They wanted me to look at a couple of different sites on the lake,” he said. “They would like to see more stuff like kayaking on Lake Hopatcong.”
Ramsey Outdoor began renting the craft on Horseshoe Lake in late July. It is likely to do it again next summer, although Levine said this year’s venture was not as successful as he hoped.
“It was challenging for us,” he said. “It was definitely slower than we thought it would be.”
Levine conceded the company did not do much marketing of the rental business and he said it’s late start likely played a part in the low turnout of users. The original plan was to begin the rentals on Memorial Day.
“We sort of started late in the season,” he said. “It’s hard to judge after one year. I think next summer will be a lot more telling if it’s sustainable or not … Our plan is to be back there and improve on what we had this year.”
The watercraft rentals on Horseshoe Lake were discussed last week by the Roxbury Mayor and Council, which agreed it would extend Ramsey’s contract for another year. The Lake Hopatcong idea was not mentioned.
“This was the first year of the program and it took a little time to get off the ground,” said Roxbury Township Manager John Shepherd at the meeting. “They probably wish they had a little more participation, but hopefully that will grow.”
The town has yet to give the Landing park a name, something discussed at a recent meeting of the Landing Gateway Committee. Names suggested at the session included Landing Gateway Park, Landing Passage and Landing Channel Park, according to notes from the meeting.