News & Politics

You’ll Now Be Able to Exchange Canoes and Kayaks At All 5 of the Big DC Boathouses

Photo by Flickr user Alan Kotk

Since February, when the National Park Service announced that Key Bridge Boathouse would come under Guest Service’s management, there’s been speculation about what the new arrangement would look like. The deal, as it looked then, would have seen NCR Guest Services—who currently manage Fletcher’s and Thompson’s—take over Key Bridge in an attempt to integrate the three Potomac locations. Visitors would be able to exchange canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, and bikes all along the river.

Boating in DC, which had managed Key Bridge until the Park Service’s February announcement, was immediately inundated with calls and emails from customers: Would their season passes be honored? Would Boating in DC still be running National Harbor and Navy Yard? What would happen to all those colorful Adirondack chairs?

A fine day for some fine art. Freshly painted by artist Hiu Lai Chong. #BoatingInDC

A photo posted by Boating In DC (@boatingindc) on

As it turns out, the chairs are staying put.

Guest Services has brought Boating in DC back into the fold to integrate the management of all 5 locations (Fletcher’s Cove may remain closed due to water conditions). Guest Services’ Chief Commercial Officer Scott Shepherd was happy with the result, recognizing Boating in DC’s record of providing a great user experience and emphasizing the laid-back feel that Michael Aghajanian, Boating in DC’s president and a San Diego native, brings to Key Bridge.

The Key Bridge Boathouse will still see some changes in the next few months, all upgrades. Expect the addition of bike rentals, permanent restroom facilities (goodbye, porta-potties), and changing rooms (up until now, the boathouse has relied on pop up tents).

The Key Bridge prices, however, will stay the same. $15 an hour for kayaks, $20 for SUPs. All boathouses are tentatively scheduled to open April 30th.

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Contributing Editor

Amanda has contributed to Washingtonian since 2016. She has written about the right-wing media personality Britt McHenry, chronicled her night with Stormy Daniels, and come clean about owning too much stuff. She lives on H Street. She can be reached at [email protected]