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Owners of new tubing company in Livingston Parish say safety will be their top priority
DENHAM SPRINGS - A new sign posted along Highway 1019 is advertising Louisiana River Adventures, a spot once occupied by the troubled Tiki Tubing.
"This is a brand new company in Livingston Parish," Cajun Tubing and Kayaking owner Haley Bonnette said.
Tiki Tubing did not re-open last May. The closure came after the parish council passed new regulations, which the previous owners claimed made it impossible for them to operate. The push for stricter rules followed the deaths of two people who drowned while tubing in the river.
"So us, and others who own tubing companies, were presented with buying the equipment. So we bought that last year for our other companies, then we reached out about buying some land. Then we decided to proceed forward with it," Bonnette explained.
Bonnette says those ordinances do not make it impossible to operate. They plan to not only abide by all of them but also plan on having extra measures in place, including trashcans along the river banks.
"We have trashcans that will be put out on the river, on every other beach, for customers to use. I have a crew that goes and gets the trash everyday to make sure it is well-kept," Bonnette said.
That crew will also be immediately available for emergencies.
"We have two boats that are made to specifically run the river that we have our guys and our management trained. They run the river to check on our customers throughout the day, numerous times a day" Bonnette said.
She says they own and operate several other tubing companies in the state, the most well-known, was previously called Wayne's World in Franklinton.
"We are experienced doing this. We know how the management should run, and we decided to expand in Livingston Parish," Bonnette added.
While Bonnette says their staff will help make it a safer environment, tubers should also watch out for fallen trees and other obstacles in the water.
"We do what what we can to ensure the river is clean and safe, but according to law, we cannot alter a scenic river," Bonnette said.
WBRZ spoke with the chief for Livingston Parish Fire District Five, who said he met with Bonnette and others about their plans. He is hopeful for a safe summer on the river.
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