Rafting brings 100,000 people to the city

COLUMBUS, Ga.- Whitewater rafting on the Chattahoochee has reached a milestone with more than 100-thousand rafters in its fourth season.

Visitors from around the country are visiting the Fountain City just to take a ride down the river.

Jake Nichols is on a college tour with his parents and before he landed in the Fountain City, he looked up all the fun things they could do.

White water rafting was first on his list.

Nichols said, “We’re here visiting Columbus State University and since we’re in town we decided why don’t we do something fun real quick, so we decided to do white water rafting because we heard it’s pretty popular.”

Peter Bowden, the President of the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau has done extensive research to find out why people are coming to the valley.

“Columbus was an outdoor adventure destination adjacent to an urban core meaning you could have any type of outside experience like white water, but have it inside the city limits so you’re not in the wilderness doing these sorts of things,” said Bowden.

Nichols says he wanted to experience the uniqueness of the river, “Back in my home town we have a little river and we have a few boats. The four of us get on a boat and we start going down the river and had fun, but it’s nothing like this.”

White Water Express says they’ve had customers from countries as far as Honduras and Brazil.

Bowden says visitors make a huge impact to our local economy, “We saw $340-million economic impact by visitors and then we did a study with CSU and they helped us track a 1.9 million visitors coming to this destination.”

On August 27th, White Water Express will host the largest single day event of the rafting season.

They will try to send more than 1,000 rafters down the hooch in a single day.

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