- Soft opening scheduled for May 19, and tube and bike rentals will be available weekends through mid-June.
- Farmington Outdoor Adventures will likely offer hiking and mountain bike tours and outfitting in the fall.
- Mobile bike and river tube rental booth Animas Outdoors will be located at the Berg Park entrance.
Business partners hope to offer hiking, mountain biking tours in the fall
FARMINGTON — Two Farmington locals have found an opportunity to turn their outdoor recreation hobbies into a new Four Corners business venture.
Darin Blakley and Cameron Garrett, business partners and long-time friends, will offer bike and river tube rentals this summer through Animas Outdoors, and hiking and mountain bike guiding and outfitting in the fall through Farmington Outdoor Adventures.
“We pretty much chose a couple of our hobbies that we do anyways and just ran with a couple of them,” Blakley said.
Animas Outdoors, which is owned by Garrett, is expected to open in the coming weeks in advance of the City of Farmington’s annual Riverfest. Garrett said a soft opening is scheduled for May 19. The mobile shop will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends through mid-June, and business hours will expand to include Thursdays and Fridays later in the spring.
Animas Outdoors will be a mobile business with approximately 25 bikes and 50 tubes available to rent at the Berg Park entrance throughout the summer.
Garrett said patrons can take a variety of bikes out for a rented ride, including cruisers and mountain bikes, with prices ranging from $15 for two hours and $65 for a full day. Tube rentals, which will be limited to adults or children accompanied by adults, will run between $15 and $20, depending if patrons want a ride from the take-out back to the park.
“The whole year will be a whole learning experience learning what you can do at different flows,” Blakley said. “From a safety standpoint, that’s something that we take seriously, and we’ll try to make sure we’re giving good advice.”
The business partners have been working with local fire departments and the River Reach Foundation to develop best safety practices, Garrett said. All tube rentals will include life jackets and recommended put-in and take-out points, and bike rentals also include helmets and water bottle racks.
Garrett said the “totally mobile” rental booth will be open on Thursdays through Sundays at the park, and there is potential for business hours to expand depending on demand.
The business will offer shuttles in a 15-person, four-wheel drive van this summer. Blakley said his business, Farmington Outdoor Adventures, will continue to use the van as a shuttle for hiking and mountain biking tours that could begin in the fall.
“That’s something we’re in the middle of honing down on right now,” Blakley said. “There’s places that I like to go as a hobby, and we’re kind of in the middle of getting legit — getting all the permits and stuff to do it right, so we’re looking to start offering those probably in the fall to places like Chaco Canyon.”
The outdoor recreation businesses have begun during the Outdoor Recreation Industry Initiative, the city’s campaign to drawn outdoor recreation and tourism industry in efforts to diversify the regional economy. Blakley said he and Garrett have been aware of ORII and have used related resources and personnel in starting their businesses.
“We just started putting our heads together and hearing that drum get beat harder and the city really pushing for it, we didn’t want to hear it any more — we wanted to be a part of it,” Blakley said.
Blakley and Garrett agreed that the Four Corners region has much to offer in terms of outdoor opportunities.
“There’s a huge opportunity in Farmington for (outdoor recreation),” Garrett said. “We have two rivers; we have a great parks system and great mountain bike trails; some of the best-class four-wheel drive jeep rock crawling. We have some of the best in the world — dirt biking, rock crawling, everything — so I think we can really make something of it.”
Megan Petersen covers business and education for The Daily Times. Reach her at 505-564-4621 or firstname.lastname@example.org.