Zaloo's Canoes ribbon cutting

Ashe County Chamber of Commerce members watch on as Zaloo’s Canoes, Kayaks & Tubes staff cut their chamber ribbon May 15.

JEFFERSON — A newly renovated Zaloo’s Canoes, Kayaks & Tubes is open under new management on the South Fork New River, as was announced at the river outfitter’s Ashe County Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting ceremony May 15.

Zaloo’s Marketing Director Kathy Hudspeth provided ceremony attendees an overview of the renovations made to Zaloo’s — which first opened in 1976 — during the past winter.

“This has been a huge change,” Hudspeth said. “As well as renovating, we’re also changing our business model a little bit, too, working more with the community.”

Zaloo’s is working with local nonprofits, including Camp New Hope, Wine to Water and New River Conservancy, as well as local businesses to provide fundraising and team-building opportunities, according to Hudspeth.

“During the winter months, we will still be open and doing events with the community,” Hudspeth said. “We have the kayaks, the canoeing and tubing, and have added guided fly-fishing tours, and a few other things.”

The renovated upstairs area of Zaloo’s can now be rented for business events, and group rates are available for 25 or more tubers, or 10-plus boaters, according to Hudspeth. Additionally, the building now has free Wi-Fi, and fishing licenses are available for purchase from Zaloo’s, Hudspeth said.

“Anything you need for the river, we have it,” Hudspeth said.

The outfitter’s hours — 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. — have been extended to accommodate after-work floats, according to Hudspeth. As an overnight option, The Outpost at Grassy Creek is a 2-acre rentable camping area for Zaloo’s customers, ideal for groups, Hudspeth said.

Ashe County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kitty Honeycutt said the renovations are fantastic, and Zaloo’s is going to be a great place for visitors and locals alike.

“It’s an icon — Zaloo’s has been here a long, long time, and this is kind of its second wind,” Honeycutt said. “We’re looking forward to getting in the river.”

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