James River business breaking records

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - More people than ever before are spending their summer at the James River. Park officials say attendance is up at least 10 percent, maybe more.

School may be weeks away, but these kids are still getting a lesson. They're learning the ins and outs of enjoying the river city's most famous landmark.

"Our growth has been so dramatic this year that it'd be hard to argue that the staycations have had a nice affect," said Matt Perry, Co-Owner of Riverside Outfitters.

More Richmonders are vacationing at home, going on guided fishing trips or tubing journeys. They're hopping the rocks of belle isle and sending their kids to the river. Passages Adventure Camp is about to pass it's all time record number of campers.

"We've seen more people than ever in the park system, more families than ever in the park system just out there in the middle of a Wednesday afternoon dipping their feet and taking in the scenery," said Kevin Tobin, Director of Passages Adventure Camp.
Even photography businesses are seeing a boost.

"We have a lot more sessions down here than we've ever had in the past. The river's just in great condition. And it's just an easy place to come down and hang out," said Anthony Rumley, Rumley Photography.

Ralph White is in charge of the James River park systems 550 acres. He's expecting an extra 60,000 people to visit the river this year. That's on top of the 600,000 who already come here.

"It's expensive to go someplace else. And let's face it. People are becoming more and more aware of the great beauty that we have right around us here on the river in Richmond," said White.

Over the next several years this park could grow. Park officials want to add several new places for you to access the river.

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