Whitewater rafting project kicks off along the Chattahoochee - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Whitewater rafting project kicks off along the Chattahoochee

(Source: Ready 2 Raft Facebook page) (Source: Ready 2 Raft Facebook page)

By Curtis McCloud -   bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - It's been over 35 years in the making and finally the widely talked about whitewater rafting project has begun. Thursday, a few hundred people gathered along the banks of the Chattahoochee river to kick off the Ready 2 Raft project.

The project is expected to generate $42 million for the local economy with more than $2 million  coming from new sales and hotel tax revenue. A total of 700 new jobs are expected to be brought to the area. 

Businessman John Turner has been one of the masterminds behind the project since its inception.

"It's incredibly exciting to have finally gotten to this point and I think all of us who have worked on this project, we knew we would get here but we had no idea how difficult it would be," Turner said.

Rafters along the river say they are ready for the excitement and new opportunities the project will bring to the Chattahoochee Valley.

"I think it's a great opportunity for the people of Columbus to actually enjoy some of our natural resources here like the Chattahoochee River and bask in the beauty," Steve Anderson said.

"It's going to be a great opportunity for some of the kids, to have something to do in the summers, to help out and learn to do that versus sitting inside playing video games," Brooke Anderson said.

The 2 1/2 mile urban Whitewater course will be the longest in the world. There will be several different activities available along the course like kayaking, tubing, and river surfing. 

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