KCWY News13 | Casper, Wyoming | News, Weather, Sports

Removing Rapids From Platte Would Hurt Casper Businesses

Floating the river much like cruising the highway can be dangerous and in Casper options are being discussed on how to make it safer. News 13's Jeff Platt shows how one option wouldn't only slow down the river, but business as well.
Every summer casper locals and tourists flock to the North Platte River for a good time, making it a great economic attraction.
Shawn Wagner, of Rocky Mountain Discount Sports said ,"The impact of all the recreational outdoor stuff in this state is huge."
Some suggest removing the swift water features from the river in an effort to make the river more placid and safer, regardless of alternatives already in place.
Removing the white water rapids behind me wouldn't only affect the water flow of the North Platte River but it would also affect the cash flow for many Casper businesses."
For sports supply stores, like Wagner's, the removal of the white water park would cost them more than just a few dollars.
Wagner said, "In the summer 50-60 thousand a month."
In the case of guided rafting excursion companies the loss would be even more devastating.
Luke Keil, president and owner of Platte River Raft 'n Reel said, "How would it affect my business? I'd probably have to shut down the rental business and the guided rafting business down for sure."
Both business owners agree if people really want to see the river become safer, removing the rapids is not the answer, but rather embracing the danger and threat they present. Because in this case the cost of people's right to make their own choices is worth the value of saving their lives.
Keil said, "I hate regs just as much as anyone else, but there are people dying for the most part only in this stretch of the river and so we need to make a regulation that you have to wear a life jacket."
Wagner says if the goal is making the Platte safer, there are much better potential uses for tax payer dollars to accomplish that feat.


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