Kayak Rental at Lake Mauvaisterre A Huge Success

By Benjamin Cox on May 10, 2024 at 9:20am

Visitors to Lake Mauvaiseterre this summer will have a new opportunity for recreation. The new kayak rental kiosk went live on May 2nd, and has been well received.

Through collaboration between the Jacksonville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau and the City of Jacksonville’s Parks & Lakes Department, visitors can now enjoy kayak rentals through the kiosk full of equipment at the lake. A step-by-step tutorial on how to rent a kayak and return it to the kiosk can be found at this link.

Here’s the rules and the QR code location on the side of the kayak kiosk at Mauvaiseterre Lake.

Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director Brittany Henry says it all starts with the download of an app on your smart phone: “Rental is all app based through Rent.Fun. You have to download the app on your smartphone or tablet, which is free. After you download the app, it will ask for some information – it’s nothing crazy. It’s just to get set up in the system so you can run the kiosk with a QR code. Once you download the app and scan the QR code, it will ask for your information, your payment information. Once you input all of that, then the cage will open. It’s very simple. I think users will find it very friendly. That was one of the things that really drew me to the program. When we talked with Mayor Andy Ezard and Brett Gilbreth about how we could bring a program to Jacksonville that’s user friendly and easy to maintain and manage without people, it was a big selling point. That’s always a big question surrounding these type of amenities is having enough manpower to run them.”

Jacksonville joins a corridor of other cities across the country that have the Rent.Fun app kiosks for rental. Henry says its great for tourism because people can follow the map of available kiosks, which may eventually lead people to Lake Mauvaiseterre and Jacksonville to come stay for an afternoon or even overnight. Henry says that the app will work wherever a Rent.Fun kiosk is located. Initial rental rates are set at $25 for the first two hours, with each additional hour priced at $15, which can be launched from the nearby boat launch.

Henry says that any problems or issues can be reported within the app and a local person will come out and service the kiosk: “Say you are on the lake in your kayak and you lose an oar. It’s kind of a big deal. Well, when you go to return the kayak and equipment to the kiosk, you have to take a photo and make sure you can account for everything. If you lost the oar or anything else, then you would report that in the app telling the app what happened. A local technician that we have on call will come out and service it. Reporting it is a way for them to know there is a problem. It’s not maybe necessarily to say that you have done anything wrong, but it’s for that individual to come out and fix it. We know mistakes happen. If something is wrong with the life jacket or you hit a rock with the kayak or an oar, or even if the kayak gets really muddy – that’s what that local technician will do, they’ll take care of those problems and clean things up making sure it’s ready for the next user.”

For more information regarding Kayak Rentals in Jacksonville visit jacksonvilleil.org or call 217-243-5678.