Jet from Huron to Cleveland

Four trips planned include stops at casinos and Browns games
Andy Ouriel
Apr 25, 2013

A new travel option from Huron allows passengers to relax over the water rather than trek across highways to reach Cleveland.

Huron city manager Andy White captained a partnership with the Lorain Port Authority, in which a 77-foot Jet Express boat will shuttle people from Huron to Cleveland and back.

Planners scheduled four trips this year with the maiden voyage set for July 28.

About 150 passengers can pay $39 apiece for a 12-hour roundtrip excursion, scheduled around casino trips and Cleveland Browns regular season NFL games.

Passengers aren’t limited to attend just these events, White said. People can also opt to visit the Greater Cleveland Aquarium, the Great Lakes Science Center, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum or simply stroll around downtown.

In brainstorming the deal, White wanted to provide Erie County residents a boat ride going somewhere other than Put-in-Bay or Kelleys Island.

“The islands are pretty well served with boats departing from Sandusky or Port Clinton,” he said. “But around here, nobody offered access into the city of Cleveland on a boat.”

White convinced all seven city council members to support the idea. The elected officials recently voted 7-0, agreeing to spend $1,300 in taxpayer funds so Huron could secure a Jet Express boat for four trips.

Ideally, passengers will board the vessel at 8 a.m. within the Huron Boat Basin.

The three-hour trek to Cleveland includes a stop in Lorain. To pass the time, people can view Lake Erie’s majestic sights, as well as purchase alcohol provided by the Jet Express.

“This is a fantastic idea,” said Rick Novak, Lorain Port Authority’s executive director. “This is a real, true partnership.”

To further entice ridership, port authority officials are offering a $15 slot machine voucher for every passenger on the July and August trips. Anyone scheduling a ride in advance of the departure date will also receive $5 off a ticket.

Huron officials, meanwhile, envision people flocking to city-based bars and restaurants upon returning Saturday evenings.

“We can have dozens of people come into the downtown area,” White said. “When people come back around a late dinner hour, that is potential to boost our local economy.”

If the four pilot boat rides float with residents, White said he’ll schedule more rides next year with trips possibly focused on baseball games and zoo visits in Cleveland.

The boat rides piggyback off an aggressive master plan Huron officials developed a year ago, calling for a radical city transformation over the next decade. The plan should improve upon existing and add new community features — all to entice residents and entrepreneurs to move to and stay in Huron.

“Hopefully it’s successful,” White said.

Comments

crazyaide

Very nice idea sounds like alot of fun.

Dude i Roc

A three-hour boat ride home would not be appealing when tired,hot and hung-over...

Football Fan 44089

How about that 3-hour voyage for Gilligan, the Skipper, the millionaire and his wife, the movie star, the professor and Mary Ann! Fortunately there aren't any uncharted desert islands on Lake Erie!

A reference to a 3-hour boat ride and my mind went right to "Gilligan's Island." :-)

TigerDad

Great idea Andy White. 4 introductory trips is a great way to measure user interest without a long term financial commitment by the City of Huron . Fine use of resources.

fedup2

What a great plan for Huron...hope it floats!!

Azure Ray

What a great idea! It's good to have Andy White around.

my2cents

So let me get this straight...You come to Huron, park your car, (in what little parking Huron has) get on a boat and go to Cleveland. These people are spending time and money in Cleveland.
Huron gets to let them park their cars. Probably no parking fees either.
How is this good for Huron again?

Nemesis

Well, the Huron taxpayers get to subsidize it, and local businesses get to give up parking spaces. Does that count?

What a boondoggle.

Gas for a Huron/Cleveland roundtrip is about $14. Parking in Cleveland about $10 a day. You can get 4 people in your car, at a total cost of $24 and travel time of 45 minutes each way.

...OR, you can spend $156 and take FOUR TIMES as long to get there, and be tied to someone else's schedule.

On the other hand, what do you expect from a guy who was a finalist for the city manager in the town with the highest local tax burden in Ohio, where they have laws dictating how many kids you can have based on where you live?

Ecstatic

A "finalist"? No. He was offered the job.

Nemesis

Worse yet, but since someone else will now be offered the job, I consider him a finalist - his declining the offer says it wasn't a good enough offer. The person who gets hired will have received an offer sufficient to garner their acceptance.

Anyway, the point is that he wouldn't have even made the first cut without convincing CH council that he loves to waste taxpayers' money.

Darkhorse

The boat is going the wrong way! You usually want to provide tourist a way to come to your town. Above all, you certiainly don't want to provide them with a boat ride out of your city. What is going on in Huron?

Firelandsobserver

A 12 hour round trip boat ride does not sound appealing unless you are into reenacting the Mayflower. Also is there any incentive for Clevelander's to use this to visit Huron? Sorry, but a high speed train would better serve.

pavedparadise

I'm tell'n ya. There is something in the water local politicians are drinking and it isn't Kool Aid.