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Business Beat: Kayak tour provider moves home base

Blazin’ Paddles, which specializes in kayak adventures on the Colorado River, has moved its base of operations to Hoover Dam Lodge.

Company owner Ryan Borup said the move offers a better place to meet with customers before the tours start and provides space for a small retail outlet featuring items that people might need when out on the water.

“We are always trying to grow as a company, and we were looking for a space that would set us apart from the competitors. We are one of the only outfitters that offers a convenient place for our guests that do not want to take the shuttle to meet at,” he said.

Also, the company has arranged for its clients to receive a discount on their stay at the lodge — 18000 U.S. Highway 93, Boulder City — allowing them a bit of extra time in the morning before the tours start.

Blazin’ Paddles’ tours include shuttle transportation from hotels on the Strip, where pickup is scheduled between 5-5:30 a.m.

Borup has been leading tours on the river for five years.

“I grew up in Alaska and have always had a passion for the outdoors. As a little kid, my dad had a whitewater rafting company on the Eagle River in Alaska, so I have been around the water my entire life.”

He said he fell in love with Black Canyon after moving to the area about 10 years ago and is passionate about the river and providing the best kayaking experience possible.

“Both myself and my staff have a lot of passion for what we do; we care about ensuring that every guest that comes on tour has an amazing time.”

Together with his 10 guides, the company has more than 30 years on the river.

With leading the tours, guides with Blazin’ Paddles are educated on the flora and fauna of the area and have been certified in wilderness first aid and CPR.

“Every two years I take a large portion of my staff to the Salt River in Arizona to go through swift-water rescue training. Although the portion of the river we operate on is not fast-moving, we use this opportunity to be closer as a group, and it never hurts to push yourself out of your comfort zones,” he added.

Blazin’ Paddles offers a variety of guided tours for kayakers of all skill levels on the Colorado River, including half-day, full-day and twilight trips, which feature stops to watch the sunset, time around a campfire and a float to the marina in lantern-lit boats.

For more information, visit http://www.blazinpaddles.com.

Rail Explorers expands operations

Rail Explorers, which offers pedal-powered rail bike trips on the historic railroad tracks used during the construction of Hoover Dam, has begun year-round operations.

After several spring seasons, the outdoor adventure company decided to operate locally throughout the year starting Oct. 11.

“It’s fun. We’re fulfilling adults’ inner child,” said Leslie Roszyk-Stephenson, Rail Explorers’ division manager for Boulder City, of the rail bike experience.

Though the area’s weather has always been conducive to year-round operation, the fleet of rail bikes used in Boulder City had been shared with the Rhode Island location. Now, Boulder City has its own fleet or rail bikes, which includes six four-person bikes and seven two-person bikes.

Roszyk-Stephenson said they can accommodate as many as 36 individuals on any tour.

The rail bikes have four steel wheels, hydraulic disc brakes and pedals for each seat and are comfortable and easy to ride for guests of any age or ability.

Each trip is travels 4½ miles, mostly downhill, from the Nevada State Railroad Museum, 601 Yucca St., to north of Railroad Pass Casino. Guests return to the depot via the museum’s train.

At the end of the trip, there is an area where riders can picnic, relax or enjoy an evening campfire.

“There might be s’more stuff on that ride,” she said of the 5:30 p.m. sunset excursion.

Roszyk-Stephenson said riders develop a sense of community from the time they start their rides until they return to the train depot. They help each other out when needed and “giggle around the campfire,” she added.

Roszyk-Stephenson said riders can travel at their own pace and there is no time limit to how long they can remain on the tracks. She monitors the riders’ pace and will not send the train to retrieve them and the rail bikes until they have passed a certain spot so they are not in danger of being hit or pushed by the train.

Aside from ensuring each rider has fun, Roszyk-Stephenson said their safety is her primary concern.

“Our charismatic, knowledgeable guides lead every Rail Explorers tour, ensuring guests enjoy not only the majestic desert scenery, but also learn fascinating insights along the way,” said Mary Joy Lu, chief executive officer of Rail Explorers. “Rail bikes provide a truly distinctive way to explore this extraordinarily scenic and historic area.”

Roszyk-Stephenson said the tours will change with the seasons. The first tour of the day departs the train depot at 11:30 a.m. Excursions on the rail bikes cost $85 for a tandem bike and $150 for a quad bike.

Reservations can be made online at railexplorers.net or by calling 877-833-8588.

New store sells ionized water

Kangen Water Store, 1404-B Boulder City Parkway, recently opened and offers Kangen water, which goes through an ionization process and has kept all of its natural nutrients.

Owner Brian Nguyen said this type of water can help medical conditions, which is why he decided to open a store featuring the technology created by Japanese company Enagic International.

The store sells medical grade Enagic water ionizer machines and offers financing options. It offers a water share club that allows people to get up to 10 gallons of ionized water a day, every day of the month.

Nguyen said it’s $30 a month for a single membership, which includes one 1.35 gallon, BPA-free bag for the water. Additional bags cost $5. It’s $40 a month for the family plan, which comes with two bags. The store also services the machines and sells different types of water filters.

The store is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Eatery undergoing renovations

Jack in the Box, 1101 Boulder City Parkway, is closed for renovation.

According to Boulder City Economic Development Coordinator Raffi Festekjian, the remodel will cost approximately $230,000. The project includes making the restrooms ADA compliant and increasing the number of booths in the dining room.

“This is positive news as we continue to see businesses reinvest in our historic town,” Festekjian said.

Blazing Blades salon opens

Blazing Blades, 1312 Boulder City Parkway, Suite A, is a new salon that offers services including haircuts for men, women and children, chemical treatments, color services and waxing.

“This is my passion,” owner Lana Allen said. “This is what I love to do.”

Allen said she comes from a small town and really likes such places. She recently moved to the area from Oregon and decided to open a business like she had there.

Blazing Blades is home to the $9.95 walk-in haircut. Allen said she plans to keep that price for the next year and will offer highlights starting at $65 for walk-in clients. The salon is certified to offer Brazilian Blowouts, a special hair smoothing treatment.

The salon is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Shave ice business sets up downtown

Surfside Shave Ice is now open at 2Wheels Garage Grill, 567 Nevada Way.

Owner Kimberly Church said she and her husband, Alex, always wanted to open their establishment in a nice atmosphere where people can sit down and enjoy a sweet treat together. The shave ice shack held its grand opening Saturday.

It offers different flavors of shave ice, including apple, sour apple, banana, blue Hawaii, bubble gum, cherry, coconut, pink cotton candy, blue cotton candy, grape, pink lemonade, lemon-lime, mango, orange, passion fruit, peach, piña colada, pineapple, blue raspberry, root beer, strawberry, tiger’s blood, vanilla, watermelon and wedding cake. There are also special combinations and toppings available.

Surfside Shave Ice is open from noon to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday.

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Ron Eland/Boulder City Review

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