Wednesday was chilly and gray, and the Huron River was quiet. But the business owners and members of Fish Huron Ohio gathered at the new public boat ramp were envisioning the crowds the ramp and warmer weather will bring to town.
The nearly $2 million ramp includes four lanes into the water, 135 parking spaces for trailers and 33 for autos.
There's still work to be done on landscaping, signs and fencing, Huron Boat Basin manager Doug Steinwart said, but the major construction work was completed in the past two weeks.
Doug Studer, president of Fish Huron Ohio, inaugurated the ramp Wednesday, driving his Bayliner from the Boat Basin and loading it onto a trailer.
The ramp, paid for by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, should help boost attendance at Fish Huron's tournaments, which draw visitors to the city outside the tourism season.
"It'll be good for the city of Huron generally," he said.
The boat ramp was supposed to be ready for use earlier this month, but there were some delays at the start, which Studer said was frustrating.
"The day that they poured the concrete ramp, that's when we really got excited," he said.
He anticipates the facility will be full every weekend from the spring through fall.
Steinwart said an official ribbon-cutting ceremony with state officials is planned for April.