After 20 years, a boat rental business is under new ownership.
White Bear Township couple Ben and Katy Robinson closed on the sale of Bald Eagle Boat Rental from previous owner Marty Weber earlier this year. The seasonal boat rental business, located at 4444 129th St. in Hugo, has been located on the property for decades but has had a few different owners.
Weber put the business up for sale after 20 years of operation. Before Weber, the business was known as Bobber’s for 10 years and, before that, the Lakeview Inn for several years.
“After my 20 years of operation, it is my turn to push this business forward to a younger generation,” Weber wrote in a recent post on social media. Weber unexpectedly passed away Jan. 29 at the age of 63. (See his obituary on page 5 or online at presspubs.com.)
The Robinsons said Weber had been very involved with the transition and planned to be around this summer to help. “He was out here weekly, almost daily,” Katy said.
The Robinsons were granted a conditional use permit (CUP) from the city of Hugo to continue operating the business last summer. Per the CUP, the business is only allowed to operate between April and October.
Katy is a property manager and Ben, a 1992 White Bear Lake High School grad, is a crane operator for Vic’s Crane. Ben plans to keep his job, and Katy will step back from property management to run the new business. Their blended family of three teenagers will also be involved in the business.
Last May, the Robinsons rented a pontoon to go fishing. While they were out on the lake, Katy asked Ben, “Wouldn’t this be fun to just let this be your life, renting pontoons all summer?” When they returned the pontoon, they spoke to Weber, who mentioned he was selling the business.
Katy’s mind started turning. “I called a bank and we just kind of started looking into if it was possible. The doors kept opening … things just kept falling into place. All of a sudden, it was like ‘Ha, we are doing it!’”
Customers will notice a lot of changes with the new ownership. Perhaps the first is the name change — Pontoons on Bald Eagle. The Robinsons discussed several names, but decided that was the best fit. Katy said, “We wanted a new name so everybody knows we are under new ownership.” Ben added, “There is no guessing about what we are or where we are; it explains exactly what it is.”
Customers will be able to rent five new Bennington pontoons, which are currently being custom made. In addition to pontoon rentals, the business will offer kayaks, paddleboards and canoes.
Katy said she is looking forward to meeting new people and becoming a part of the Bald Eagle Lake community. She said they have already been in contact with the lake association, and plan to help out with the upcoming lake cleanup after ice houses are removed.
Pontoons on Bald Eagle will likely open its doors on May 14 for the fishing opener, but that may move up to May 1 depending on the ice-out date.
Ben said, “We just want everyone to experience Bald Eagle Lake and have a good time.”
To learn more about the business, visit www.PontoonsonBaldEagle.com.
Lead Editor Shannon Granholm can be reached at 651-407-1227 or email@example.com.