The paint is almost dry on the Whitewater Express sign at its new Columbus home.
The new whitewater outfitter store at 10th Street and Bay Avenue should be finished by Dec. 20, with an open date soon after that, owner Dan Gilbert said.
It will be Columbus' first full-scale operation, with Whitewater Express occupying a storefront in the Phenix Plaza shopping center in Phenix City.
The 2.5-mile urban whitewater course on the Chattahoochee River opened in May and was named one of the "12 greatest man-made adventures on the planet" by USA Today in September.
Gilbert said on Thursday that operations in Phenix City will continue as construction soon begins on a building for Whitewater Express.
It will move into a new building in the Plaza's parking lot facing the 14th Street Pedestrian Bridge.
"Part of (Phenix Plaza) will be torn down to facilitate construction," Gilbert said. The projected opening for the new building is December 2014.
Gilbert hopes to double his staff in the Chattahoochee Valley for next season's operations. He said the outfitter employed approximately 35 in its first season. He sees that doubling to 70 with the operations split equally by the two locations.