After 20 years, a boat rental business is under new owner.
White Bear Township couple Ben and Katy Robinson closed the sale of Bald Eagle Boat Rental from previous owner Marty Weber earlier this year. The vacation boat rental business, located at 4444 129th St. in Hugo, has been on the property for decades but has had a few different owners.
Weber put the company 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 in the business, it’s my turn to take this company forward to a younger generation,” Weber wrote in a recent social media post. Weber died suddenly on January 29 at the age of 63. (See his obituary on page 5 or online at presspubs.com.)
The Robinsons said Weber has been heavily involved in the transition and plans to be there this summer to help. “He was here every week, almost every day,” Katy said.
The Robinsons were granted a conditional use permit (CUP) from the town of Hugo to continue operating the business last summer. According to CUP, the company is only allowed to operate between April and October.
Katy is a property manager and Ben, a 1992 White Bear Lake High School graduate, is a crane operator for Vic’s Crane. Ben plans to keep his job and Katy will retire 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 on the lake, Katy asked Ben, “Wouldn’t it be fun to let this be your life, to rent pontoons all summer?” When they returned the pontoon, they spoke to Weber, who mentioned he was selling the business.
Katy’s mind began to spin. “I called a bank and we just started to see if it was possible. The doors kept opening… things just fell into place. All of a sudden it was like ‘Ha, we’re doing this!’ ”
Customers will notice a lot of changes with the new owner. Perhaps the first is the name change – Pontons on Bald Eagle. The Robinsons discussed several names, but decided it was the best solution. Katy said: “We wanted a new name so everyone would know that we are under a new owner.” Ben added: “There is no doubt 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 built. In addition to the rental of pontoons, the company will provide kayaks, paddleboards and canoes.
Katy said she looks forward to meeting new people and being a part of the Bald Eagle Lake community. She said they had already been in contact with the lake association and were planning to help with the next lake clean-up after the ice boxes were removed.
The pontoons on the bald eagle will likely open on May 14 for the opening of the fishery, but it could go until May 1 depending on the ice-out date.
Ben said, “We just want everyone to experience Lake Bald Eagle and have a good time.”