Coast Guard closes parts of Cumberland river for Draft, causing issue for kayaking business

NFL Draft

On warm weekends, Annie Klaver gets about 100 customers per day wanting to kayak on the Cumberland River.  

“Most of the people who come to River Queen Voyages want to see the famous Nashville skyline when they’re kayaking,” said Klaver, CEO and owner of River Queen Voyages.  

She thought business would be booming with 300, 000 people expected in town for the NFL Draft.  

“Wow, there’s going to be a ton of people here,” she said. “I bet a lot of them are outdoorsy. I bet a lot of them want to go kayaking, and then I just felt deflated.”  

The U.S. Coast Guard is blocking off the Cumberland River from Woodland Street Bridge to Korean Veterans Boulevard Bridge.  

“We are not allowed to use Cumberland Park,” she said.  

Klaver uses the park to drop off and pick up her kayakers.  

“If we’re blocked from downtown, we can’t run our most popular route,” she said.  

Making matters worse, several streets leading to boat access points were closed on April 15th and won’t reopen until May 7th.  

Klaver says at $35 to $90 per customer, they’re taking a big loss.  

“We’re kind of out of luck,” she said.  

Butch Spyridon, President, and CEO, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation sent this statement to News 2:  

Until the Vice Mayor brought this to my attention, we were unaware of this circumstance. We reached out immediately, and I believe that working with the NFL, we have come to a satisfactory resolution. She’s been great to work with, and we want to do everything in the future to help her grow. The Cumberland River needs more activity like this, and we will look for ways to work with River Queen Voyage.

Klaver has worked out a deal where she will be compensated for the money she’s losing per day because of all the closures. 

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