Emergency crews respond to an accident scene at Comox Valley Kayaks and Canoes after a vehicle went off the road and ran into the Cliffe Avenue business. Photo supplied, Courtenay Fire Department

Kayak shop in Courtenay getting back to business after crash

Operation does most of its business during busy summer months

It was a tough few days for a Cliffe Avenue business after a vehicle lost control and ran into the corner of its building.

The driver smashed into Comox Valley Kayaks and Canoes at 2020 Cliffe Ave. around 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 11. In the process, the side of the building was crushed and 15 kayaks were destroyed. RCMP said the accident was related to a medical emergency.

The business was faced with some uncertainty around when they could re-open, at one point thinking they would need to operate out of a shed. One of the operators, Kerry Webb, told the Comox Valley Record they have since been cleared to open the doors, with the damaged part of the building walled off.

“They say the building’s safe,” she said. “We’re in the space.”

To start off, they are holding off on anything other than long-term rentals to which they had committed.

After that, the plan is to re-open for normal short-term rentals starting the week of Aug. 19. The timing was particularly tough for the business, as July and August are the busiest times of the year, says Webb.

Initially, some reports suggested they would be closed over the long-term, but she emphasizes they needed to open as soon as possible.

“We want to get operational,” she said.

In addition to the 15 kayaks totaled, several others were damaged. These are seaworthy but cannot be sold as new, so the business is selling them at a discounted rate.

They are also looking to find some paddles to use for their rentals.

“All of our rental gear is in a pile of rubble,” she said.

The business also had a sale planned for Aug. 15, but they have moved it to Aug. 20.

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