Local business offers summertime enjoyment

Barbara Layton
Rivertown Kayaks, LLC. and Sno Biz, located at the corner of Washington and Mulberry Streets, have become summertime staples in the City of Ravenswood.

The weather is warming up, restrictions are beginning to be lifted, and people are looking for ways to get some “normalcy” back in their lives. One local businessman is hoping that he can help the community by offering a couple of ways for people to do just that.

Jeremy Gorrell, a native of Jackson County, wears many different hats when it comes to business ventures. Two, in particular, have become staples in the Ravenswood area; Rivertown Kayaks, LLC. and Sno Biz.

In 2014 Gorrell decided he would bring his love for kayaking to Jackson County. With the approval of the City of Ravenswood, Gorrell began a kayak rental business. It quickly became a hit and now people from all over come to kayak in Ravenswood.

A few years ago Gorrell purchased property on Sand Creek, adjacent to the area’s Riverfront Park. The creek was cleaned and all blockages were removed with the help of the local Fire Department. The creek now provides a peaceful place to float to Silverton from Ravenswood that is relaxing for a family trip or a beginning kayaker.

In recent years the company has gone from just a kayak rental to a West Virginia Guide Service. Gorrell is now able to plan a custom trip anywhere in the state on water, offering everything from a guide to meals on the water, travel arrangements, and equipment; making Rivertown Kayaks, LLC. a source for new adventures.

A different type of opportunity presented itself to Gorrell around four-years-ago when the owner of a Sno Biz truck, which was kept at the Riverfront, decided to sell and move out of town. Gorrell then made the decision to purchase the business and add it to his kayaking service.

Gorrell revamped the business by making it function on a smoother basis. Now with more combinations of flavors than any other Sno Biz, it has become a favorite to the Jackson County community.

This season, with the onset of COVID-19, Gorrell questioned whether or not to open the operation. After much thought, he decided to move the Sno Biz and kayak rentals in town by his office on the corner of Washington and Mulberry Streets.

Gorrell said it’s about the community. He feels the location now makes it more available to everyone. Signs are posted regarding social distancing and tables are set up accordingly.

“We have kids that ride their bikes here now,” he said. “They will go get a $5 pizza and then come over here so that by the time they are finished eating, we are open and they can get a Sno Biz for dessert.”

With Gorrell’s business savvy, he said he really enjoys what he does, while being able to give back to his community.

“It’s not that the Sno Biz and the kayaks make this real profitable situation, but probably the reason we survive this virus thing is because we are not out here trying to make a killing,” Gorrell said. “I put people in charge of things. I give a bunch of college and high school students jobs they need at a decent wage, and I let them keep everything, including tips.”

Gorrell describes himself as a “go-giver.”

“There’s a book I read a few years back,” he said. “You’ve heard of someone saying they’re a real ‘go-getter,’ this book is actually based around the opposite. It’s called ‘The Go-Giver’ and the idea is if you make a small portion off of somebody else’s go-getter by giving them the ability to do it, and you don’t have to be there, you’re far ahead.”

For more information on renting a kayak or going on a kayaking adventure, contact Rivertown Kayaks, LLC., at 304-761-8743.

To check out the many flavor options offered at Sno Biz, stop by any day of the week, between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.