Kayak, bike, picnic or just have a seat
by BETH ALTENA
Cindy Palmreuter, owner of Double Take Resale shop, and her husband Steve were sad when Powers Outdoors closed their doors in downtown Rockford last October, and they thought town visitors would miss the ability to rent kayaks to cruise the Rogue River, a service Powers offered. Then the idea came to them. Located just a stone’s throw from the White Pine Trail and two stone’s throws from the Rogue River, Palmreuter realized her shop’s location was perfect for offering outdoor gear for rent. Her brainchild, Rogue River Rentals, officially opened May 1.
The new business already offers eight kayaks, eight bikes, some camp chairs and an assortment of other rentable items to make a trip to Rockford more of an adventure. With gas at a roadtrip-discouraging $4-plus per gallon and expected to stay high this summer, Palmreuter believes more people will be staying close to home this vacation season, but that doesn’t mean an end to summer fun. “There are lots of cool things to do right close to home or even in your backyard,” she said.
Palmreuter believes even regulars to downtown don’t realize everything that is going on in the town, especially in summer. Every Tuesday during the Huntington Bank Rogue River Blues Series, people pop their heads into her shop to ask what the crowds are for by the dam. The unprepared will be more comfortable, thanks to Rogue River Rentals, as Palmreuter now offers an array of chairs, throws and even a picnic basket for those who would like to stay and see the live music.
One of the benefits of Rockford’s cohesive downtown merchant community is the shop owners like to work and plan together. In this spirit Palmreuter has enlisted the cooperation of other merchants, such as Laura at Twisted Vine and Nick at Poindexter’s Specialty Marketplace, who will sell goodies to fill the rented picnic basket after they are referred over by Palmreuter or her staff.
Palmrueter said business at the resale shop has been brisk and her sellers appreciate that she offers cash on the spot for quality clothing and accessories seven days a week during business hours, and no appointment required. Setting Double Take apart from many resale shops is the fact that Palmreuter will take any season clothing and most won’t. “I have room upstairs to keep the clothes until the right season. When the season changes and I have an inventory flip, I’m ahead of the game and don’t have to wait for inventory to come in.”
Described as a boutique-style resale shop, Palmreuter said she uses care in both choosing inventory and in its display. You won’t see shoppers digging though a junk bin or picking over packed racks.
With such a prime location for outdoor sports, Palmreuter believes her Rogue River Rentals may have a bright future. “I can see it growing into a smaller version of what Powers was,” she said, offering outdoor gear for purchase as well as rentals. Palmreuter said people now have more options when they come to town and she plans to keep adding to her inventory so there will be even more on this list when wondering what to do in Rockford.
“I call it the ‘Rockford Experience,’” she said.
Rogue River Rentals kayaking is by appointment only and people can choose between a four-hour or two-hour trip with transportation to the drop-offs and the ride ending at the canoe launch upstream of the dam. Forget the bug spray? Don’t worry—they have it.
“This has been good,” Palmreuter said of her resale shop and experience of running her own business in downtown. She feels she chose a business that offers good economy for shoppers and is in sync with environmental practices of reusing and recycling rather than wasting. With her new business plan and location, she thinks she has another winner for downtown Rockford. “That’s what this whole thing has been: the right place and the right time.”
To find out times and prices for rentals, see the brochure at Double Take or call the reservation number at (616) 884-0331.