MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — After seven weeks of slow going on Lake Minnetonka, the emergency no-wake restrictions will end at midnight on Thursday.
Last month’s heavy rain sent the lake to a record high, but it’s fallen nearly a foot since June 5, when the emergency high-water declaration went into effect.
The no-wake restrictions have hurt businesses that rely on boating traffic. At River Valley Power and Sport, Paul Pflueger’s biggest slowdown is in demand for wave runners and jet skis.
“They’re fun, they’re, you know, like motorcycles on water. And rather than just putting and going slow, people are looking for a little activity with these,” Pflueger said.
It’s a similar scene at Wayzata Marine where boat sales often happen on the water. Owner Dave Briggs estimates a 25-percent drop in business due to the no-wake restrictions.
“In choosing your new boat, you wouldn’t have had the opportunity to see exactly how it performed, and I think that’s tough for some people to handle,” Briggs said.
But Friday’s end to the no-wake restriction brings a new sales pitch, and the promise of faster boating. Pflueger believes there’s still plenty of time to pick up speed.
“I think the rebound will be automatic,” Pflueger said. “I think there’s a lot of heat coming, there’s a lot of summer left.”
Lake Minnetonka still remains under a high-water declaration, which means boaters can’t drive faster than 5 mph within 600 feet from shore or in some of the smaller bays.