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Weather, other factors force waterfront attraction operator to shut down business

Captain Brochin says the poor weather over the past several months, including river flooding sped up his decision to close down.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Scream Machine sits docked at Louisville's Waterfront Park and owner Edwin Brochin has no plans to give it a spin this summer.

"My capacity for the vessel is 230 passengers a day and we have been operating so far this year at under 10 percent of our capacity," Brochin said.

He brought the jet boat to downtown last year offering the thrill ride to passengers. But he says the poor weather over the past several months, including river flooding sped up his decision to close down. He's now planning to move the business to Florida.

"Here we are in the middle of summertime and I can't even board my passengers. There is no way to get them to the boat right now," Brochin told WHAS11.

Last year wasn't much different. He opened in May and expected to have 33 workable weekends. He ended up with 11.

"Started off real strong, but every weekend seemed like it was a washout again. I couldn't bear the thought of having two seasons back to back with these type of conditions, but it's exactly what we got," he said.

Brochin also says the empty building next door, which previously housed different restaurants, hasn't helped. "I've been holding out now two years thinking we were going to get a partner - someone here to do business with and the restaurant has been empty the whole time I've been here," Brochin said.

In response, the Waterfront Development Corporation told us in part, "It is unfortunate that things did not go well for Captain Brochin here and wish him the best in Florida. Our other park vendors will continue to provide quality activities for park visitors."

"I never look at any business venture in a negative fashion. Never. It always prepares me for something better. I believe everything in life has it's course," he said.

He is not ruling out a return to Louisville and is hopeful to be back next spring.

The full statement from WDC:

"While we are actively and aggressively seeking a new tenant or tenants in the restaurant building, there was never a promise or representation to Captain Brochin that there would be a restaurant in the adjacent building within any certain time. As with all of our park vendors, our agreement with Captain Brochin simply granted him authority to conduct business in Waterfront Park. Although all aspects of Captain Brochin's business operations were solely his responsibility, we did what we could to promote his business, including holding a press conference last year which announced the start of his jetboat operations, advertising on Waterfront Park's website, promoting the business on Waterfront's social media pages, connecting him with Louisville Tourism, installing a "jetboat" flag at the parking lot entrance. The Belle of Louisville sales team likewise promoted his operations. It is unfortunate that things did not go well for Captain Brochin here and wish him the best in Florida. Our other park vendors will continue to provide quality activities for park visitors, including Louisville Kayak Company and Wheel Fun Rentals, and don't forget we host over 150 events each year so there will always be plenty to do in Waterfront Park!"

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