Update: Georgetown Patch reported Thursday that the National Park Service has put the eviction on hold for the time being due to public outcry. It remains unclear how long the NPS will continue leasing the waterfront property to the boathouse.
Original Post: The Georgetowner reported late last week that Jack’s Boathouse, the popular canoe and kayak rental establishment on the Potomac River, will lose its lease on Jan. 31 of next year. The National Park Service has been leasing the waterfront property out to Jack’s Boathouse on a monthly basis since October 1973 and has not said why it is evicting the Georgetown landmark, which has operated continuously since 1945.
According to the Washington Post, four years ago, current owner Paul Simkin liquidated about $300,000 of his retirement assets to upgrade and renovate the boathouse. Since then, business has expanded in size to serve 72,000 customers—up from 4,000 a few years ago.
In response to the news of the impending closure, a page on Facebook to save Jack’s Boathouse has cropped up and gathered over 600 likes. The page even includes a petition to the President to halt the closure of the boathouse.
The National Park Service informed Jack’s Boathouse of its decision to terminate its lease by a form letter, according to the Georgetowner:
“The Jack’s Boathouse family is heartbroken that after 70 years on the same location, we are told in a form letter that we must be out by 30 days,” Simkin said. “Hearing this at Christmastime will be a huge blow to our 27 employees at Jack’s Boathouse who are losing their jobs which makes this even harder.”
Simkin told the Post that he plans to sell the business’s 300 boats and lay off its 27 employees. As part of revoking the lease, the owner is responsible for breaking up the dock and removing everything from the property.