And at the end of April, Reinke got the answer he was waiting for. Governor Tony Evers and Wisconsin Department of Health Secretary Andrea Palm announced the first “dial round” of the Badger Bounce Back program, intended to help restart the state’s economy, and corporations. Outdoor recreation rentals were among the businesses allowed to open.
Despite the pandemic, Brittingham Boats – one of three sites associated with Madison Boats – entered its eighth year with a big opening day, Reinke said, and estimated it would see 120 visitors before it was over.
But the opening was far from normal as a number of new security measures were put in place to protect customers and crew.
The new measures include contactless boat rentals through the company’s website, social distancing lines for customers waiting to get on the water, and contactless handwashing stations, which customers are using. invited to use while they wait. Staff wore face masks or plastic screens and sanitized each boat and paddle after customers returned.
“We usually try to rotate to be open on Mother’s Day,” Reinke said. “But there is usually always some kind of weird weather phenomenon,” like this year’s winter mix of snow and rain.
During the offseason, Reinke inspects and repairs each of the 500 boats and paddleboards owned by Madison Boats, and plans water-based, community and private events for the upcoming season.