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Chula Vista kayak rental company bouncing back after COVID shutdown

Chula Vista Watersports.png
Posted at 5:11 PM, Jan 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-18 00:37:01-05

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV)-- Thousands of people took to the beaches this weekend. A kayak rental company owner says thanks to the weather and great customers, he is starting to bounce back from the COVID-19 shutdown.

It's a gorgeous day to paddle along the south bay. For Michael Jimenez, great weather means non-stop work. He is the owner of Chula Vista Watersports, a kayak and paddleboard rental company. At the beginning of the pandemic, he says things were not looking great.

"I was one of the first businesses to close because I was extremely paranoid," Jimenez remembered.

But after two months off, he got creative. He increased his social media presence and even converted a garden sprayer into a disinfectant spray. With a little help from the perfect weather, customers started coming back.

"I can see the light at the end of the tunnel you know?" Jimenez said.

Rani Benskin says it has been hard to find fun, COVID-proof activities for her and her grandkids.

"It's just been a struggle to try to find anything that's open," Benskin said.

But renting kayaks at Chula Vista Bay was the perfect answer.

"Unfortunately for these guys, they just stay inside and get on the computer all day long or play their games and that's totally not me … so anything to get outside!" Benskin laughed.

Jimenez says the best part about his job is to put a smile on his customers' faces.

"These are different times, man," Jiminez said. "But we just need to be grateful for the things that are positive that are happening, and look for love and look for the happiness and look for positivity in this time where you can easily find negativity."

Jimenez says he is most grateful to his customers for their support. He says proceeds are going right back into the business. Next month, he will be debuting jetski rentals.