In less than one week's time, the community of Macon banded together and showed up in solidarity to last week's commissioner's meeting and spoke up; changing the minds and votes of the Macon-Bibb Commissioners previous decision to allow Allsouth the bid of concessionaire for Amerson River Park.
Macon-Bibb County will soon award one company the right to be the sole company offering inner tube, canoe and kayak rentals in Amerson River Park. One local company, Ocmulgee Outdoor Expeditions (OOE), bid for the right, and an out of town company from Buford, north of Atlanta, also bid. After much debate the Macon-Bibb County Commission Committee decided to send the contract to the full commission for voting after it was made known that Allsouth did provide proper warning of a dam release in 2011 along the Chattahoochee River, that resulted in the death of a 9 year old girl.
This one page letter from the National Park Service details why Allsouth lost its permit privileges in the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area:
Allsouth skipped three easy safety steps that cost nothing to provide to their customers. In a few minutes time the Van Horn family would have known what to do if they had problems while they were on the river.
OOE has an excellent safety record and requires that all who tube, canoe or kayak wear a life jacket. OOE also has an excellent record of customer service and can provide pages of glowing reviews praising the service and staff. Having a location onsite at Amerson River Park will allow locally owned Ocmulgee Outdoor Expeditions to expand our inner tube, canoe and kayak rentals to Macon-Bibb citizens and tourists.
If awarded the bid, OOE will also offer shuttles for paddlers who own a boat but don't want the hassle of setting up their own shuttle with numerous cars, or who are solo paddlers. In its bid, OOE promised to make available a bus that will run between the North and South Access at Amerson and provide a shuttle service to those with their own tubes for the minimal cost of $1.00. OOE is a good local business ambassador to park visitors; we already pick up anyone who is walking from the South to the North and gives them a ride for free.
It's important that everyone shows up tomorrow at 6pm. This bid is everyone's issue if you use Georgia's rivers for fishing, boating and paddling. A large turnout will impress the commissioners that the local citizens are concerned about safety on the river before profits. Please share this with your friends and encourage them to come
Thank you for supporting Ocmulgee Outdoor Expeditions and our locally owned business partners. Shop Local, Float Local!