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Cleveland Tiki Barge returns for 2nd season, expands service to meet demand

Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 11:40 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - As summer approaches and the state lifts health orders, Northeast Ohioans will be ready to get out and celebrate on the water.

The Cleveland Tiki Barge is back for 2021, and with state health orders being lifted and Ohio opening back up, its second summer promises to be better than last year’s inaugural season.

“People were calling for refunds, did about $80,000 in refunds. That was very disappointing given that we had this brand new concept and we were so excited to bring it to Cleveland,” said owner Brittany Orlando.

They’ve added to their fleet to support pent-up demand.

“We had hundreds of people on our waitlist for the weekend, so we wanted to be able to accommodate them, so we built this boat, dubbed the ‘Big Kahuna,’” she said.

Their second boat fits 30, more than doubling their capacity. So they’ll need to hire eight to 12 additional employees to handle 10 sightseeing and pleasure cruises a day, seven days a week.

Orlando has plans to expand even further, adding paddleboard rentals and retail.

“I think people are itching to get outside, hang out with family, friends, get togethers. People want to celebrate. Bachelorette parties, weddings, things that couldn’t happen last year, they’re starting to do this again this year,” she said.

They launch their Cleveland Comeback next weekend, when they shove off for their first cruise of the season.

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