MESA, AZ(3TV/CBS 5) - It’s the unofficial start of summer: Salt River Tubing is back! The season opens on Saturday, April 29th.
While it’s been a staple in the Valley for years, the company has a new owner. William Jinks, a Valley businessman, and longtime resident, purchased it from the previous owners of 43 years, Henri and Lynda Breault.
What’s new for 2023? Jinks has added an online reservation system and how you pick up your tube should be easier. Instead of picking it up at the Salt River Tubing location along Bush Highway, you just have to pick up a wristband there. Then you can get on a bus and pick up your tube at the water.
“It’s such a popular, iconic spot,” Jinks said. “Ever since COVID the lines have just gotten crazy, so it’s just the way to speed up the lines.”
Jinks grew up in the Valley and has a transportation business. He bought the business because he felt like he could bring about some positive changes.
Tube rentals are $25, which includes a shuttle ride. If you’re bringing your own tube it’s $18 for the shuttle. Here’s more on reservations and pricing.
The start of the season means the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is focusing on safety. Sgt. Joaquin Enriquez spoke to Arizona’s Family on Friday. While some recreation areas had been closed because of the river flows, Enriquez says everything is back open.
Deputies never see a dip in people recreating along the Salt River, Enriquez said. It seems to be a year-long activity. If you plan on tubing, he suggests having a plan. Tell someone where you are going, drink responsibly, and have a designated driver.
Enriquez also says if you’re paddleboarding, you need to also bring a lifejacket. Know the law and the area, he added.
In terms of staffing, Enriquez says lake patrol deputies are on their summer schedule, which means they have double the resources. “Safety is a top concern for us out here,” Enriquez said. “We want everyone to have fun, but we want everyone to be safe.”
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