Whitewater Columbus seeing more visitors than expected - WRBL

Whitewater Columbus seeing more visitors than expected

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

Whitewater Columbus is getting ready for a big Labor Day weekend. They're expecting a large crowd, especially on Sunday and Monday, as the summer winds down.

Richard Bishop of Uptown Columbus, didn't expect to have such a successful first summer. When they opened the whitewater course back in May, they expected to have about 10,000 riders in the first year. As of today, they've had just over 12,000 people head down the river.

"Considering all the weather and other challenges we had early on, we're very pleased with that number," says Bishop.

Bishop says this weekend may get them to 13,000.

"We think we'll do 500-600 this weekend, with a chance for more," says Bishop.

Katie Bishop of Whitewater Express says they're preparing for a big Labor Day Weekend. She says people are looking forward to trying out the attraction that was recently listed as the best man-made whitewater attraction in the world, according to an article by USA Today.

"We're already seeing big numbers, especially for Sunday and Monday," says Katie Bishop.

After Labor Day weekend, they expect the numbers to die down a little bit with summer coming to an end. Bishop says they'll have to target a new audience.

"We're trying to do some things with the university, including get fraternities and sororities out here," says Richard Bishop. "Even tailgaters on Saturday, it's time for people to come over here from Auburn and get in the water."

Whitewater Express plans on staying open into the fall. They won't let the cooler weather slow them down.

"We're going to stay open as long as people want to raft," says Katie Bishop. "We are getting wetsuits and wet gear in so people can go when it gets a little cooler."

Once whitewater rafting shuts down for the winter, Whitewater Express will offer other river activities. Kayaking lessons and paddle board yoga will be available in the next few months.

Bishop plans on running until late October. He is expecting about 15,000 people to ride the course by the end of the season.

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