Sterling Heights

Canoe and kayak company expands from tours and rentals to storefront along Clinton River

It’s official. Clinton River Canoe & Kayak has received a unanimous approval from the Sterling Heights Zoning Board of Appeals to open their storefront on Utica Road.

Now the company is performing an impressive overhaul of the building, removing more than 2,000 yards of debris, trash, and tires from the property. More than 500 yards of steel has been taken to the scrap yard.

Founded in 2007, this is the first permanent physical presence for the company, which up until this point has been limited to canoe and kayak tour, lesson, and rental services along the Clinton River.

The storefront allows the company to continue those services but also provide equipment for sale, as well as other outdoor amenities like sunscreen and bug spray. T-shirts, hats, and river art will also be for sale.

"This is our first stab at this kind of thing but we’ve been around long enough to know our customers and what they want," says owner Jerry Reis.

"Ten years ago you never saw kayak or canoe racks on the cars driving down Van Dyke Avenue but now you can’t miss them."

Though the storefront won’t officially be open until April 1, 2019, Clinton River Canoe & Kayak will still be offering tours, lessons, and rentals throughout the rest of this season, which ends the second week of October.

The storefront backs up to the Clinton River, where the city of Sterling Heights will be installing a dock.

"We’ve been in business for eleven years, working out of cities and parks," says Reis.

"We’ve finally got a place where we can set down some roots and build a nice livery."

Clinton River Canoe & Kayak is located at 37328 Utica Rd. in Sterling Heights. Until the storefront opens, they can be reached online.

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.