If you plan to bring your own inflatable to Barber Park to float down the Boise River with this summer, note that you'll have to come with it already inflated or to bring your own air pump. Ada County Parks & Waterways has decided to retire their air stations for good.

You may have noticed that air stations were not available during the 2020 float season during COVID either. However Ada County Parks and Waterways says that park visitors were able to adapt quickly to the change. Not only did people just adapt, but more vehicles were actually entering the park too - by 28% over 2019 (from 402 to 516 daily) to be exact! Despite more people visiting the park, operations actually ran far more smoothly and more efficiently than ever before according to Barber Park staff.

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Ada County further explained in statement, "In prior years when park staff turned on the noisy garage compressor and the air stations were running it would essentially encourage pumpless floaters all day to queue up in one of several long lines for up to 45 minutes to inflate their equipment." These huge lines also would sometimes block two of the three designated access points to the river at the Barber Park beach air stations!

"The removal of air stations has been implemented to more efficiently facilitate the flow of vehicles and people through Barber Park and down the beautiful Boise River during the annual float season," says Ada County Parks and Waterways. "Despite the minor inconvenience for some, the overall experience for most improved significantly."

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