Local Business Owner is Living the Dream
Chicago Premier Boat Rental and Leasing made his hobbies into a business.
The old adage - do what you love and you never work a day in your life - is one that Rick Todd lives every day. The owner of Chicago Premier Boat and Leasing was a boat captain and a pilot before he began his business, which is based both in Channahon and Romeoville.
"We created it," Todd said of his business which rents boats and planes. "Basically we found that we weren’t using our boat as much as we wanted to and it was costing at least $3,000 between the slip and the insurance."
The boating side of the business is located at Big Basin Marina in Channahon.
The business began as a boating-only adventure, but in December, the company added flights as well.
The company flies out of Lewis University Airport, in Romeoville.
And the company does not just rent out its equipment, instructors will teach you how to boat or fly.
"I've been boating since I was a baby," Todd said. "Between all of us in the group we have over 75 years of combined experience."
There are three boating instructors and four flight instructors in the company.
Todd has found a specific customer base of people who were interested in boating or flying or both, but had no idea where to begin.
"We just kind of wanted to get people back into (boating and flying)," he said. "(We) came up with the idea of leasing from a friend who does it in Florida."
To that end, the company recently opted for a Groupon, giving people a discount on a boat tour, even though the boat doesn't go into the water until May.
Todd, who also works full-time as an electrical engineer, said he is just enjoying his business.
"It’s a hobby; It’s fun," he said. "It’s really not work.
"You get to meet a lot of good people."