KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho --- Hooligan Island given the OK to conduct its business on Lake Coeur d’Alene.
Business is looking good for the owners of Hooligan Island, especially on a hot day like the ones we have been having.
It is floating more than 1,000 feet from shore, which is outside the city’s jurisdiction. At the end of the day, Hooligan Island will have to be brought into a marina to stay in compliance with state rules.
“When we got classified as a floating toy, we went ahead and complied with the regulations and rules that fell into that clarification,” said Hooligan Island co-owner, Rob Riley.
At the end of June, the Idaho Department of Lands told the owners of Hooligan Island the structure was violating the Lake Protection Act. After replacing their anchor with ones that can be pulled up by hand and making plans to bring the structure in every night, the state said they are good to go.
The spot where Hooligan Island has dropped its anchors has created waves with neighboring businesses.
“Because nobody is enforcing them to leave or do something different, it leaves the door wide open for anybody else to bring whatever they want to the lake,” said Coeur d’Alene Parasail owner, Jamin Rodriguez.
Rodriguez runs the parasailing company off the city docks. He said it is frustrating to see Hooligan Island not playing by the same rules.
“It’s a cool business and I want to see them succeed. But on the flip side it’s like, if you want to play in the sand box, you have to follow the rules,” said Rodriguez.
When Rob was asked about their location, he said he believed the island was not in the way, and it is a great spot for business.
“We did have one boat that came too close, closer than he should have. And that’s why we want to have people come out, that way we can keep the boating traffic down from around the island,” said Riley.
The City of Coeur d’Alene’s Parks and Recreation department oversees business permits on the beach. City officials said they asked the owners of Hooligan Island to provide a safety plan in case of an incident. At a recent meeting, the owners said because the business is outside the city’s jurisdiction, they are not required to provide a safety plan.
City officials said it only requested a plan because it’s emergency crews would be the first to respond due to proximity to the floating jungle gym.
The owners of Hooligan Island said they have plans to expand it to at least double its current size. This is not their only location either, they have similar Hooligan Islands in Arizona and Utah, and they are currently working on a location in California.
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