Outdoor industry seeing a boom after so much time indoors due to COVID-19


FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – We all spent months under stay at home orders due to the Coronavirus. Now families are looking for fun ways to spend time together and still stay socially distance.

A Frankfort business is having a record sales year and can’t keep up with inventory all because people want to get out and enjoy the outdoors.

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The outdoor industry is seeing a boom from all generations from camping, hiking, and kayaking all with social distancing in place as we adjust to the new normal.

Nathan Depenbrock, Owner of Canoe Kentucky says he’s seeing more than his usually customers, “we’re seeing a lot of families come out for the first time in a longtime. Our industry has been a little bit captivated by the millennial generation and we haven’t seen as many families come out but this year lots of people with kids coming out, and just people wanting to get out and see the outdoors get some fresh air distance themselves away from each other. What a great activity with all the swimming pools and stuff being closed this is a great way to still enjoy the water.”

The extra business is bad, but with the phone endless ringing the store in struggling to keep up with the demand. “The manufacturers also got shut down like everyone else did so when we need more boats we can’t get them there’s limited supply. We’re used to having 250 boats in stock at any given time. We’re down to the last 30 boats currently in stock and every time a new shipment comes in they’re gone within a week or two.”

There have been at least seven drowning in Kentucky just this summer. Something Dependbrock is aware of and although the river and creek waters are low right now it would not take much rain for them to rise again. Only 6 inches of moving water can knock an adult over and send you downstream.

“People also need to understand this is not a swimming pool. And a lot of people can’t go to the swimming pools because they’re shutdown, our natural rivers and streams are great ways to cool off in the river and creek but it’s not a swimming pool, there are hazards in it. It’s really important that when people are out enjoying the creeks and canoes and kayaks that they are wearing a life-jacket at all times.”

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Meteorologist Justin Roth weather forecasts can be seen weekend evenings on ABC 36 at 6:30 PM at 11 PM. Justin will also forecast the weather at 10 PM (MyKY 36.2) three days a week. Justin comes to WTVQ from the NBC affiliate in Casper, WY and interned in Knoxville, TN all where he gained the understandings of forecasting mountainous terrains and rapidly changing environments. His forecasts are for YOUR day and making YOUR life just a bit easier. Justin was born and raised in Saint Louis, Missouri, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology from Western Illinois University with Minors in Broadcasting and Mathematics. His interest in weather began at a young age when his parents gave him a book, ‘First Field Guide To Weather’ for his Birthday, ever since then weather has been a passion of his from forecasting to chasing tornadoes. When not forecasting the weather, Justin enjoys exploring new places and anything outdoors. He’s a self-proclaimed history buff and loves rooting for favorite sport teams, The St. Louis Cardinals and Blues. Please feel free to share any outdoor picture you’d like to share with him send them his way at JRoth@wtvq.com And be sure to follow him: Twitter - @JustinRothWx Instagram - @JustinRothWx