Whitewater project brings moose to Phenix City riverfront

Four months before whitewater rafting officially starts on the Chattahoochee River, the moose is loose on the Phenix City riverfront.

Atlanta-based Whitewater Express, one of two outfitters selected by Uptown Columbus, Inc., to be the official river guides, has begun work on its storefront in Phenix Plaza shopping center.

Whitewater Express owner Dan Gilbert was laughing Friday about the 1-ton moose that is sitting out front of his new shop.

“We couldn’t get it inside,” Gilbert said.

If you are little confused about what a moose has to do with whitewater rafting in downtown Columbus, join the club. Ask Gilbert for an explanation, and he laughs.

"We will have a snack bar that will serve sandwiches, ice cream and such,” he said. “It’s called Moose Hollow Trading Company. That is where the moose comes from. It’s a fun thing.”

Gilbert is working to have the store ready by June 1, which is when the whitewater course is scheduled to open.

“We are getting fixtures in there now and hope to be moving merchandise in during May,” Gilbert said.

The other outfitter is North Carolina-based Nantahala Outdoor Center, which will have an operation based in Columbus. NOC is still looking for real estate in downtown Columbus, Uptown Inc. President Richard Bishop said.