NewsLocal NewsWestern Montana News


Water levels, severe weather pose challenges for Missoula small business

Water Rafting
River City Brews.jpeg
Drew Mozzer
Posted at 8:22 AM, Jul 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-06 13:22:35-04

MISSOULA - The river levels may be dropping in Western Montana, but that doesn't mean the danger of being on the water is gone.

Our recent severe weather hasn't only been affecting water levels, but also the small businesses that thrive on the river.

Between June and late September, you can catch a ride down the Clark Fork or Blackfoot River in one of the rafts.

With a beer in hand and good company, there isn’t too much more to worry about floating with Missoula’s River City Brews.

River City Brews.jpeg

But for the crew running the operation since 2018, the uncharacteristic June weather has put a meander on their business— the cancellation of some raft trips.

“It has been a tough transition," said River City Brews Rafting Tours co-owner Drew Mozzer. "We have not seen a month like this.”

Mozzer said they lose "thousands of dollars" in revenue when a rafting trip is canceled.

He explained that it isn’t just the river levels that are causing headaches on the west side of the Divide — it is also thunder and lightning storms.

Drew Mozzer
River City Brews Rafting Tours co-owner Drew Mozzer

“Our frame is completely metal and we're just on the water kind of vulnerable like sitting ducks," Mozzer told MTN News. "So we deem that pretty unsafe for for our guests.”

Although frustrating for the seasonally operated company, Mozzer said any day on the river is a good day, so until then they will wait for summer to catch up.

“We understand that we don’t have control over it so we try not to stress out about it as much as we can," said Mozzer.

The best way people can support the small businesses that rely on the river is to go out with them.