Kaps Inc. to take over marina

By Sam Jack

CHENEY – The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism recently announced that Kaps Inc., the Cheney-based convenience store chain, will operate the marina concession at the Cheney Reservoir starting this Fourth of July weekend.

KDWPT is finalizing a temporary agreement with Kaps that will extend through Sept. 30, and both Kaps and the department say they want to come to a long-term agreement for Kaps to operate a full-service marina.

KDWPT reached out to Kaps in May, according to Kaps Inc. president Kevin O’Brien.

“We’re excited about the opportunity. We’re local, and it’s going to be nice to have somebody local, right here taking care of it,” said O’Brien. “We’ve been working pretty hard, and we’ve made a lot of changes to the interior that people will see right when they walk in.”

Kaps will use the existing marina store building that was previously occupied by Snyder Marina. Starting this weekend, it will sell toiletries, food and beverages, including low-alcohol beer.

Down the road, Kaps would like to add gasoline sales, floating docks and boat storage.

“There’s some things that the department is doing this year, just to get it opened back up, and then obviously they have some long-term plans for getting storage and docks back in the next year,” said Kaps.

Safety and maintenance issues were a reason for the nonrenewal of Snyder Marina’s concession contract last fall.

“Most of the safety issues didn’t involve the store itself,” KDWPT spokesperson Ron Kaufman said in an email. “Longerterm, it will be necessary to address the safety issues before KDWPT and the (federal Bureau of Reclamation) would approve a more full-service marina operation.”

The convenience store will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, starting this weekend.