Up & Coming Weekly

March 24, 2020

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 19 of 28

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM MARCH 25-31, 2020 UCW 19 In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the town of Hope Mills took swift action to limit the exposure of its citizens to possible infection with the virus. At the top of the list of actions was the decla- ration of a state of emergency by Mayor Jackie Warner that took effect on Monday, March 16. The action gave the Hope Mills Police Department authority to deny access to any areas in the town that may be necessary to keep the spread of the virus under control. Anyone attempting to gain access to any area that is blocked by the police would be consid- ered guilty of a misdemeanor. The town also announced cancellation of all appointed boards, commissions, committees and upcoming special events through Monday, April 6. Specific events are listed below: All town facility rentals from March 16-April 6 are canceled. No additional reservations will be scheduled during that time period. Easter in Hope Mills and Breakfast with the Eastern Bunny on Saturday, April 4, and the free Easter Egg Hunt are canceled. Ag Day on Saturday, April 4 is canceled. Effective Monday, March 16, the Hope Mills Recreation Center closed for an indefinite period. All scheduled Parks and Recreation programs, athletics, activities, trips and open gym times are suspended through April 6. Registration and payment for future programs and activities can be done online at https://secure.rec1.com/NC/ hope-mills-N.C. Hope Mills Municipal Park, Golfview Greenway and Hope Mills Park open spaces will remain accessible for public use. Town Hall and the police department lobby will not be closed. Residents are asked to limit visits to both facilities. Use online forms where possible and mail checks for permits. Those who must come to Town Hall or the police station are asked to call ahead and make an appointment to make sure someone is available to assist you. Call 910-424-4555 for Town Hall or 910-425- 4103 for the police department. Visit http://www.townofhopemills.com/direc- tory.aspx to find alist of direct extensions. Hope Mills responds to COVID-19 crisis A STAFF REPORT NEWS Hope Mills is taking swift action to limit the exposure of its citizens to COVID-19. Yakalacky Outfitters NC to open by EARL VAUGHAN JR. Stephanie Bentley likes the direction Hope Mills is heading in and wants to be a part of the good things going on in the community. That's a big part of the reason she and her husband Josh are kicking off a new business, Yakalacky Outfitters NC. "I have a great passion in making things hap- pen,'' Bentley said. "I've done it before in past businesses. I'm very resourceful and creative. This is going to be a fun thing for the commu- nity.'' The business she is putting together will roll out over a period of weeks, starting first with a kayak rental business that will be based in a mobile format to take the kayaks down to Hope Mills Lake. Her physical business address, which likely won't be open until mid-April at the earliest, will be just around the corner from the lake, literally, at 5552 Trade Street in a former paint store. The building she plans to occupy has been vacant for nearly two years. She's in the process of cleaning the building inside and out. Once that's done, she'll be able to devote full time to installing kayak racks on the trailer she plans to bring her rental kayaks down to Hope Mills Lake. She has set a tentative date of March 28th to have some travel writers and photogra- phers visit the new business and take a tour of the lake. That event is on hold as the current COVID-19 situation may limit the ability of the writers to travel to Hope Mills until a later time. But she does plan to crank up the kayak rent- als soon, advertising and taking reservations on her company's Facebook page. She is working on pricing plans that will make the rental affordable for people who have no experience using kayaks and just want to try it out. She's also going to have longer rental times for veteran kayakers at a higher price. "It's definitely going to be affordable,'' Bentley said. "I want everybody to be able to afford it.'' She is hoping to make the Trade Street build- ing more than just a typical store. She wants it to become a place where people can visit, shop and enjoy some time relaxing and socializing. "We'll sell bait, fishing tackle and sundries,'' she said. "We'll probably have apparel down the road.'' To save money, and prevent the need to keep the building constantly stocked with kayaks she's purchased to sell, Bentley plans to work out contracts with different distributors of vari- ous water sports products and have them come in on a rotating basis to do demonstrations of their products. She's currently negotiating with a company in Texas that makes a unique paddle board with pontoons. Bentley also plans to offer loaner rods and reels for fishermen and eventually hopes to be able to sell fishing licenses at the store. She hopes to do some landscaping in the store's back yard and turn it into a place where people can come and relax in the shade during the summer months, possibly even construct- ing a small pond with koi or goldfish. Her primary goal is to offer items that people will want and need when they visit Hope Mills Lake, either as fishermen or kayakers. While she's starting with kayaks, eventually she hopes to offer different types of water craft, including canoes, rowboats and possibly even pedal boats. "The pedal boats are very expensive,'' she said. "When we get that ball rolling the town is going to let us keep them on the water.'' Eventually, Bentley hopes to have some kind of storage facility at the lake so she can keep the kayaks there as well and not have to move them back and forth. She also plans to offer kayak owners the chance to bring their kayaks to her and let her sell them at the store. She'd also like to sell items made by local artists and craftsmen. "I want to give them an outlet inside the store,'' she said, "help them and help me.'' Hope Mills News & Views A new business, Yakalacky Outfitters NC, is set to roll out within the next few weeks.

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