Youghiogheny Canoe Outfitters
The Berarducci family didn’t plan to join the river trail revolution when they bought land along the Youghiogheny River. “We just purchased a plot of property for our personal use, so the boys would have access to the river,” says Andrea Berarducci. “We were just standing around one day, and one of the boys said, ‘This would be a great spot for a canoe rental place.’”
A bank financed Youghiogheny Canoe Outfitters’ start-up. By the time the Berarduccis decided to expand, the Trail Town Program was spurring development along the Great Allegheny Passage, which runs through West Newton. The Trail Town Program is operated by The Progress Fund, which loaned Youghiogheny Canoe Outfitters $52,000, with a payment schedule tailored to their seasonal business.
The Berarduccis were able to add a van, more canoes, kayaks and life preservers. Their thriving river fun center, now with a pavilion for gatherings of up to 75 people, has provided river fun to folks from as far away as India. “They come here, and they want to know a good place to eat, or a nice place to stay over night,” Andrea says. That kind of ripple effect reaches far beyond the riverside.View Story as PDF »