Smiths Falls Manager of Economic Development Cyril Cooper says a European company’s plans to invest $16 million to bring luxury houseboats to the Rideau Canal is excellent news for local businesses.
“I’m excited about Le Boat coming to the town of Smiths Falls,” Cooper told town councillors at a Dec. 12 meeting. “I think this is going to be great for our region.”
Smiths Falls will be the headquarters for the houseboat rental operation, beginning in 2018. The lavishly-equipped boats will attract affluent tourists, who will spend a couple of hours a day on the boats, and the rest of their time exploring the communities along the canal – and spending money.
Cooper said the boat line will be offering tours heading south toward Kingston with a focus on the natural environment, as well as a more “urban” experience, heading north into Ottawa.
The company has also inquired about the feasibility of manufacturing boats in Smiths Falls.
Councillor Chris Cummings noted that Le Boat’s online announcement to its Europeian market included a mention of their headquarters being located in “the beautiful and historic town of Smiths Falls.”
Cummings commented that, “We can’t pay for that kind of advertising!”