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Keep ME Open: Portland business offers 'pay what you can' to paddle Casco Bay

Portland Paddle is offering the deal for Mainers through the month of June to keep business going with an uncertain tourist season ahead.

PORTLAND, Maine — There is very rarely a situation where you're able to 'pay what you can' for anything these days, but at Portland Paddle in Portland, they are doing all they can to keep business coming in.

"I was starting to think that we might have to cancel our entire season," owner Zack Anchors said. 

Due to a number of cancellations and an uncertain summer ahead, the kayak and paddleboarding tour company on Portland's Eastern Promenade is offering the deal to Mainers through the month of June.

Anchors said he might even decide to extend the program. 

"We need Maine residents to come out because if they don't then we don't operate," he said. 

The business is used to welcoming thousands of tourists, business groups and summer camps each year. 

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Trained guides take people to explore Casco Bay by kayak or paddleboard. They provide lessons for beginners and kids. 

Fortunately, those employees are still on board because Anchors received some money through the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

The team is taking the time without customers to train up and ensure the experience is safe for everyone. 

Social distancing signage is in place at the rental shop, masks are strongly encouraged and equipment is regularly sanitized. 

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"Here in Maine, there are plenty of opportunities to get outside and still engage in social distancing and to do things safe," Anchors said.

Anchors said if customers can afford to pay in full, it is greatly appreciated. Rentals, tours, and lessons are available most every day.  

You can find more information at PortlandPaddle.net.

You can find local small businesses open near you by going to the Open Near Me section of our website.

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