Down River Equipment Moves Doors After 35 Years


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Colorado rafters rejoice! If you’re a Front Range floater looking to get gear from longtime retailer Down River Equipment, take note that they’re now in a new location after 35 years. The longtime retailer and raft accessory manufacturer has moved into an expanded headquarters and showroom in Wheat Ridge…

The new abode, at 11937 W. I-70 Frontage Rd. North in Wheat Ridge,
takes up 13,271 square feet and is laid out into three departments: showroom; production and warehouse with a large common room; and staff shower, commuter bike storage and offices in the back.

“The new space has given us more room for expanded production and storage all under one roof, which has made us much more efficient,” says co-owner Phil Walczynski. “We’re able to host larger river community events like our “Learn to Float Fish” seminar series, first aid/cpr classes, our “Rig To Flip” session and Raftopia. We unofficially boast the largest display of rafting gear in the country. And, we’re temporarily showcasing the Colorado River Runners History Museum.”

The move was completed this spring.

“We’ve really stepped up our showroom presentation as well as doubled our production and warehouse space,” says co-owner Jason Peter. “All of which will make us more efficient and provide a better customer experience. We’re only a mile south of our previous spot, so still happy to be in Wheat Ridge and have convenient access on the western edge of the Denver area right off I-70.”

With a combined experience of more than 35 years, the three long-time employees – Walczynski, Peter and Zach Svoboda — became the new owners of Down River in September 2013 and are carrying on DRE traditions while ushering in a new era.

“Our new location will allow us to continue the tradition that was started by the founders, Dennis Schell & Greg Yeager, 31 years ago and carried on 15 years ago by Christine Wolfe and Mike Prosser,” adds Svoboda. “It will also support our goal to expand outreach and involvement in the outdoor & paddle sports community.”

Known for manufacturing and supplying river equipment since 1985, DRE prides itself on being owned by boaters and employing an experienced team of boaters to assist with any river need under the sun. It specializes in the custom fabrication, distribution and retail of equipment for any type of river adventure, and is perhaps best recognized for its quality rowing frames that are 100 percent made in Colorado.

It also manufactures dry boxes, tables, pumps and a multitude of cargo gear in Colorado, while distributing Aire, Hyside and Rocky Mountain Rafts, Sawyer, Carlisle and Advanced Composite oars and paddles, Extrasport PFDs, Engel coolers and more.

M-F: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sat: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sun: Closed

Info: 303-467-9489;;

Address: 11937 West I-70 Frontage Road North, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033

Staff Post
Staff Post
Paddlers writing about all things paddling.


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