Skip to Content

Wilderness outfitters recovering from BWCA closure

Remaining Ad Time Ad - 00:00
Ely Outfitting Company

ELY, MN -- The Boundary Waters re-opened this weekend after being closed due to fire concerns, but Wilderness outfitters in the area are still feeling the closure's impact.

It has been a disappointing couple of weeks for campers who had to cut their trip short or cancel it altogether.

It has also been tough for business owners dealing with the closure.

Jason Zabokrtsky owns Ely Outfitting Company.

Labor Day is typically a huge weekend for the company, but this year their holiday numbers are down by 80% compared to last year.

Despite the drop in revenue, Zabokrtsky is keeping a positive attitude.

"We're thankful to have whatever 15% to 20% of our regular business at this point," he said. "We're just thrilled that most of the Boundary Waters Wilderness around Ely has reopened and we're able to put people back on the water."

Zabokrtsky said they saw a tremendous number of cancellations for the Labor Day Weekend.

Some people even scrapped plans for later in the season because there was so much uncertainty about when the Boundary Waters would re-open.

"It was a bizarre time to have the Wilderness so close and just not be able to touch it and not be able to introduce anybody to it," Zabokrtsky said. "It feels so much better to be back in a place where we can be sharing it with people again."

Despite the cancellations, Zabokrtsky said Fall is a wonderful time to paddle, and he encourages everyone to get out when they can.

Click here to learn more about Ely Outfitting Company.

Author Profile Photo

Kendall Jarboe

Skip to content