Innovator: Glen Lake Boat Rental Still Busy | Business


Editor’s Note: This article appeared in the special publication Record-Eagle’s Rise. For more stories about Northern Michigan’s economic engine, click here to read Rise in its entirety online.

GLEN ARBOR – Glen Lake was in turmoil.

Boat engines of all sizes played like an orchestra, their captains and crew hissing, shouting, laughing and exchanging hand greetings like a crowd of conductors waving their sticks.

There were also those who sat quietly in their flat-bottomed boats with fishing lines draped over the edge waiting for the big hook to bite.

The 4th of July weekend on County Leelanau’s pristine lake was bustling, then some, or to paraphrase Civil War Admiral David Farragut who exclaimed, “Shit the (stop), full speed “.

“The lake was as busy as I’ve ever seen it,” said Paul Hall, manager of On the Narrows Marina in Glen Arbor.

As local areas began to reopen after the extended coronavirus-related shutdown, and with what appeared to be an endless heat wave that baked northern Michigan from late June to mid-July, many of those who had squatted in the previous months made a right to businesses like On the Narrows Marina, where they hoped to hire a boat of one size or another.

“For the most part (and despite the early shutdown) we were on par with what we’ve done in the past,” Hall said.

Hall said the company has a flotilla of powerboats, tri-toons, pontoons, jet skis, kayaks and sailboats for hire from licensed operators, aged 21 and over, while licensed drivers aged 16-year-olds can drive them.

“We have a bit of everything,” he said. “There were a lot of people, reservations arrive regularly. “

Known for its clear and scenic waters, Glen Lake – backed by dunes on one side and forest on the other – is actually divided into two lakes, aptly called Big Glen Lake which covers 4,871 acres and has a maximum depth of about 130 feet, and Little Glen Lake, which covers 1,415 acres and has a maximum depth of one-tenth of it, or about 13 feet. The two welcoming inland water bodies are divided by the M-22 bridge and the causeway.

Reagan Middleton assists with the popular company’s customer service.

“People always say how beautiful it is here, they love to come back,” she said, adding that just over the July 4 holiday weekend, visitors from as far away as the ‘Illinois, Indiana, “and even two or three from France,” have reserved recreational passage on one of the boats in the marina.

On the Narrows Marina is located at 8137 S. Glen Lake Road, Glen Arbor. He can be reached at 231 334-4891;

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