Those who visit Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area now have the opportunity to rent boats and/or jet skis from the BLORA marina.

Belton Lake Boat Rentals LLC owner Patrick McDonald is proud to announce that he can now offer rentals, for Soldiers and the general public, at BLORA after an almost year-long contract process.

“If you just want to come out here and cruise around on the lake, jump in, take a dip, we have boats for that. If you want to go fishing, we have boats for that. If you want to go tubing, we have boats for that. We try to encompass everybody,” he said.

 All 10 of the boats are new or newly refurbished from top to bottom, as well as two jet skis. They must be rented through their website. Customers have the option of renting boats in two, four or eight-hour increments.

“We switched over to some software on the website. You go to the website, you book on the website, and the website manages all of our resources,” he explained.

The rentals are available to the public as well, but McDonald knew he wanted to provide Fort Hood Soldiers and their families with a fun activity to participate in. Having experience as a single Soldier himself, he knew having the rentals at BLORA would be a great opportunity for current single Soldiers.  

“That’s the key, because this is fun for single Soldiers. They can come out here, get together, and go tubing or whatever they want to do. Then we have families that come out here. So, we can provide some entertainment for everybody on Fort Hood. That was a big thing for MWR (Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare & Recreation), and we had that same vision,” he said.

When customers come by to use the boat they have rented, they will go through an automated process where they sign the rental agreement on a tablet. Then they will be ushered to a room to watch a safety video featuring McDonald explaining how to use the boats properly. The boating party will also be given life vests before they go out on the water.

McDonald has also partnered with DFMWR to host a unit on Thursdays, giving them an opportunity to have a fun day on the water together.

“(They’ll) get a ski boat, a pontoon boat and a jet ski free of charge and they can spend the whole day out here. We’re also going to rent one of those pavilions, so they’ll have a base of operations. We’re going to do that every Thursday into October, as weather permits,” he explained.

It’s important to McDonald that single Soldiers and Soldiers with families have the opportunity to easily rent boats from BLORA.

“This is about the Soldiers. We wanted to give back to the community and that’s what we’re going to do,” he said. “I was a single Soldier and I was like, ‘What do we do? What’s there to do?’ Taking that into consideration, if they had this when I was a young single Soldier or had a young family, this is what I would do.”

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