“We pressed pause on the Mill Creek project,” says Nate Pound (“Logjam at Mill Creek,” Summer 2017). Instead, in a surprise turn of events, Pound bought Skip’s Canoe Rentals. In our earlier story, Skip’s then-owner, Mark McDonald, pointed out what he saw as the flaw in Pound’s Mill Creek plan: it would have left him “chasing down” kayakers launched from Dexter.
Now Pound will be doing it Skip’s way: taking clients upriver to launch, then waiting for them at the livery at Delhi Metropark. He’s not even changing the name. Asked if he still might go through with the plans for the Mill Creek Adventure Center eventually, he says, “Financially, it [was] a huge investment, and we hit every road block imaginable. I was a beaten man,” though, if he was, the Jackson dentist and enthusiastic outdoorsman is again sounding like his usual chipper self.
Mill Creek Adventure Center was originally conceived as a watercraft livery with bike rentals, a rock-climbing wall, a beer garden, and a cafe. While Pound won’t say whether the property is for sale or whether anyone has expressed interest in buying it, he’s let the liquor license go. “I didn’t buy it–I had only put a deposit on it,” which he lost. He can’t use it at Skip’s, because it’s located on Metroparks land, and park rules prohibit the sale of alcohol.
In news related to Mill Creek plans, Dexter Bike and Sport has closed its store in the old house on Baker near Main. On its Facebook page, owner Jeff Turck, who opened it in 2003, says he’s “going into hibernation mode … until a new suitable location becomes available.”
Turck was going to run the bike concessions at Mill Creek Adventure Center and had planned to move Dexter Bike and Sport’s retail location there. He didn’t answer emails but according to his Facebook page, it was his father’s stroke that necessitated selling the house on Baker.
Elmo Morales is expanding the hours of his Ping Pong Palace to Tuesday evenings and possibly adding some Sunday hours. He says to check the Palace’s Facebook page for continuing updates. He’s also trying to recruit volunteers to staff it so he can offer even more hours. Morales, a retired gym teacher and one of the founders of the Dexter-Ann Arbor Run, is on a mission to groom an Olympic table tennis champion by the year 2036.
Elmo’s Ping Pong Palace, 7069 Dexter-Ann Arbor Rd. (Dexter Crossing), Dexter. 604-5989. Tues. & Thurs. 7-9 p.m.