Wes Stibb of Outdoor Impact has purchased the Heidel House Escapade yacht, a 60-foot boat known for offering sightseeing tours around Big Green Lake and special-event cruises.
Stibb detailed preliminary plans for the yacht at Wednesday’s Green Lake Parks and Recreation Board meeting.
He’s working with the Heidel House to create plans for the boat. Stibb noted the boat will both serve the Heidel House and the general public.
“I think it helps the community a lot,” Stibb said, noting that he wanted to keep the boat locally owned. “We want people to know that it’s accessible to the community and the surrounding communities.”
To operate the Escapade, Stibb is partnering with Pierless Boat Rentals because the company already has a business model for giving lake tours.
“We’re working on that right now,” Stibb said.
He went to the Parks and Recreation Board to inquire about potential options for loading and unloading the boat with passengers.
Stibb said the majority of the tours will depart from the Heidel House, which could help further generate business for the resort.
He noted the Heidel House, when reopened, will have two bars that can be used for patrons to have pre-tour drinks.
After the boat tours, Stibb said people may go and enjoy food and drinks at the restaurants on the Heidel House property, which will be open to the public as well.
“It will help bring revenue in for them, and that’s a good spot to dock,” he said. “They're willing to do that and that’s the sales pitch that I used. It worked out for everybody.”
Stibb noted some of his customers have already asked to rent the Escapade. He also has the idea of having local restaurants catering on the boat, which could be promoted on social media.
“I think that’s a way to get people from Omro to Beaver Dam to come into the community,” he said.
In terms of making the Escapade more accessible to the public, he noted it could be helpful to dock it somewhere in the city outside the Heidel House on certain weekends and holidays.
Once Stibb has a more concrete plan for where to dock the Escapade in the city, Mayor Ray Radis anticipated the topic will appear on the Parks and Recreation agenda for the board to vote on to send a recommendation to the Common Council.
“This is just us talking about it and announcing that this is going to be coming down the pike for us to sort of evaluate,” Radis told the Parks and Recreation Board. “I think it’s a draw; I know the chamber is on board with this."
He added the there will be "more to come on this; when we have something, we’ll bring it to the board.”