Wow! 2016 was amazing! Let's do it again!
We had a great year!
For the 7th year in a row, we welcomed many first-time, but not last-time customers to our shop. Our 'regulars' continued to paddle the heck out of 2016--all year long! Our Avila Beach Paddlers Meetup Group had some fun mingle and paddle events, and our Meetup membership is now at almost 600 paddlers! We added a few new staff to our world famous SuperCrew! and as usual, our crew rocked it, worked hard, kept everyone safe, and had fun!
The Humpback Whales came back to visit us in the harbor and put on another exciting show. It seemed like every other week we had new baby sea otters. We signed a 10-year lease and started construction on a much-needed expansion. Woohoo! Our shop is now 3 times as large as it used to be, which allows us to increase retail and rental services as well as improve customer service. We created a new adventure for families with kids. In addition to our other tours, we now have the extremely popular Little Explorers Kayak Tour.
We won the 2016 New Times Best of SLO County Reader's Poll and were awarded the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for the third year in a row! Vincent Shay Photography continued to get lots of local and national attention, but Vince took a day off from his quest for the perfect whale photo to participate in the Zongo Cup. Vince completed his second 20+ mile journey on his paddleboard from Morro Bay to Avila Beach. Go Vince! 2016 ended with lots of rain, so we've had a little extra time chase rainbows, take some road trips, and plan for an epic 2017!
So what's new in 2017?
Lot's of great changes are brewing for Avila Beach Paddlesports! First off, if you're reading this, then you may have noticed our new website. We've been working on this new site for a little while now and we're still working out some of the bugs and adding content, so bear with us. We'll still have the same features we had before, but we'll be expanding our online store and booking calendars, so you can purchase gifts or plan your adventures way ahead of time.
Now that we have a larger shop, we can finally bring the public some of the services they've requested. We're going to expand our rental services to include high quality boogie boards and fins for all you spongers out there as well as beach chairs, canopies, umbrellas, towel rentals, and more. We're also really excited about offering bike rentals starting in the Spring. Lots of visitors ask us advice about what to do, where to go, where to eat, and more. Let us plan the perfect day for you. Avila Beach and Port San Luis have everything you need for the best day ever! Stay tuned for entire day packages that include a kayak or paddleboard rental, bike rental, breakfast or lunch at one of our awesome local restaurants, and wine tasting at one of our fabulous Avila tasting rooms. Discounts on packages will be available for anyone who takes the free Avila Beach Trolley to our shop. We're committed to healthy oceans and healthy humans, so we're your stop for non-toxic ocean-safe products, including sunscreen, lip balm, shampoo and bodywash. Travel sizes are available if you would like to take advantage of our hot showers and private changing rooms after your day of Adventure in Avila. You'll also find more retail merchandise than ever before, including gifts and souvenirs.
We're going to continue working with Cal Poly and we are again offering several internships for the Spring and Summer. We look forward to having lots of Meetup paddle and mingle events suitable for beginners and some for intermediate to advanced paddlers. Our first event of 2017 will be a mellow paddle on Saturday, January 14th. Go to Meetup.com and joing the Avila Beach Paddlers to RSVP.
As we get closer to summer, don't forget to look for our satellite rental tents on the main beach in Avila (at the volleyball courts) and Olde Port Beach. With all of the rain we're having, we're excited about the San Luis Creek flowing nicely again and it looks like the lagoon is devloping again. This is a really popular spot to kayak and SUP, especially for bird lovers because you can paddle all the way back through the golf course (about 1.5 miles). Other than all of that, we're just going to keep doing what we do all year long--rentals, lessons, tours and good times for all :)
So as we sit here cozied up with our dogs enjoying this rainy day, we can't help but day dream about sunshine, Humpback Whales, frolicking otters, smug seals, barking sea lions, stoked customers, classic moments with the SuperCrew!, and just an all around great 2017! Don't forget to follow Avila Beach Paddlesports and Vincent Shay Photography on Instagram and Facebook because we always post updates on weather and wildlife. It's going to be a great year! We wish all of you a happy and healthy 2017! See you soon!
Clap it out,
Vince and Em