Local Business

Sunset Bay Kayaks owner calls it quits

By From page B7 | February 02, 2014

SUISUN CITY — Sunset Bay Kayaks may be beached for good unless its owner finds a buyer willing to continue running kayak rentals on the waterfront and hosting guided kayak trips into the Suisun Marsh.

Fifteen years after Trish Abbatiello started up Sunset Bay Kayaks by parking a trailer loaded with kayaks at the Suisun City waterfront, the small water recreation business owner is calling it quits.

Abbatiello announced earlier this month that she is putting her business up for sale and retiring.

“I am feeling that I want to retire now enjoy life some more,” Abbatiello said. “This is nothing to do with politics, but that does wear you down.”

Sunset Bay Kayaks has been one of the more enduring water-related businesses on a shoreline that has seen three entertainment boats, an ecological tour boat and a water taxi business come and go.

Most recently, she and the city have been at odds over how best to make her business more visible to customers on the city’s waterfront. Abbatiello had repeatedly proposed building a kiosk, but she and the city had disagreed over the specific plans.

Abbatiello herself saw her business shift from working out of a trailer in the waterfront parking lot, to the bottom floor of a waterfront residence, to a Main Street storefront and finally to the underside of the walkway to the city’s public boat dock.

“I am not selling it for a lot of money,” Abbatiello said. “I would just like to see someone who lives locally buy it.”

Abbatiello said she was proud of the fact that she got people from all over the area to come to Suisun City and not only rent her kayaks and go on guided kayak cruises, but also patronize other businesses.

She initially planned to open up a riverboat restaurant on the waterfront in 1994, but after trying for three years, said she was not able to get the investors she needed. She then trimmed back her ambitions, took money out of her savings account and started Sunset Bay Kayaks on the back of a trailer.

“I had a good run here and the best part was meeting all the terrific people who came here and said what a terrific little community we had,” Abbatiello said. “And, of course, there was the marsh itself. It was intriguing every time you went out in it. Every time there was something different, whether it was seeing a river otter or seeing a bald eagle catching a fish.”

A drop in business, when the economy changed, did not help her business, she said, “because gas prices went up and people did not travel as much.”

Abbatiello said she will miss taking part in community events such as the Earth Day cleanups where kayakers cleaned up refuse from the marina.

“I hope that whoever buys the business, they will stay involved,” she said.

Linda Feins, whose business is near Harbor Plaza, express mixed emotions about the pending changes at Sunset Bay Kayaks.

“It is very sad that we won’t have the opportunity for someone to rent the kayaks and hopefully, we will have another business come in and do that,” Feins said. “It would be nice to have more water sports out here. It would be nice to use our waterway and not just to view it.”

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ithompsondr.

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson has worked for the Daily Republic longer than he cares to remember. A native of Oregon and a graduate of the University of Oregon, he pines for the motherland still. He covers Vacaville and Travis Air Force Base for the Daily Republic. He is an avid military history buff, wargamer and loves the great outdoors.

Discussion | 17 comments

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  • S KJanuary 31, 2014 - 6:46 am

    Wouldn't it be nice if the Suisun Recreation Dept. would buy and run it. After all wouldn't that be in the city's own interest??

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  • The MisterJanuary 31, 2014 - 7:40 am

    If a private business isn't sustainable, why should the government take over? Because they are better business managers? Ha! No, because government doesn't have to comply with all the government regulations. Of course even with this advantage, the corruptness of government would mean taxpayers would have to pay more and more to sustain the corruptness... while the purpose of the business would become secondary.

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  • S KJanuary 31, 2014 - 7:44 am

    Just thinking that this is a good business for our waterfront, bringing in more people that will also visit other businesses in the area.

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  • CD BrooksJanuary 31, 2014 - 9:14 am

    Sounds like an opportunity for the Jarvis'. How about that Marci? You guys could enjoy your passion for kayaking, share with others and get paid for it! With your experience you'd be a perfect candidate.

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  • Luca BrasiFebruary 02, 2014 - 11:52 am

    Yeah, but if she found out one of her customers had voted for Obama they might end up sleeping with the fishes...

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  • RMS TitanicFebruary 02, 2014 - 12:05 pm

    Could be worst.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksFebruary 02, 2014 - 12:18 pm

    Luca Brasi/Gilligan, hilarious! I used to tell her that she could make Obama an excuse for anything! Never met the lady so can't comment on her "status!"

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • SavetheRepublicFebruary 02, 2014 - 12:29 pm

    I have put on a lot of weight...so I would have to say I look a lot like Cathy Bates in Misery....

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • StRFebruary 02, 2014 - 12:32 pm

    Like any of you people are so hot yourselves...

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  • CD BrooksFebruary 02, 2014 - 12:37 pm

    Str, I'm pretty hot but getting some relief today with the rain and cooler temperatures! :)

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksFebruary 02, 2014 - 12:33 pm

    "I thought you were good Paul... but you're not good. You're just another lying ol' dirty birdy."

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  • Even if ugly......February 02, 2014 - 12:40 pm

    I would rather cuddle then have sex. If your good with grammar you’ll get it.

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  • ?February 02, 2014 - 1:12 pm

    Angela Merkel arrives at Passport Control at Paris airport..........."Nationality?" asks the immigration officer...................."German," she replies............"Occupation?"................."No, just here for a few days."

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  • B. ThiemerJanuary 31, 2014 - 9:35 am

    If Suisun did not intervene in the kiosk design/development, would that change the commitment to the business?

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  • Mr. PracticalFebruary 02, 2014 - 12:24 pm

    Not at all. The city bent over backwards to help her.

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  • Rich GiddensFebruary 02, 2014 - 9:50 am

    The City of Sewer Soon treated Senior Citizen Business Owner Trish Abbatiello like garbage and wouldn't work with her to promote tourism. Their contemptuous and cavalier attitude towards her is usually something you see reserved for a soda can or candy bar wrapper. Another 5 businesses left California today and another 500 rats moved in to mooch welfare, food stamps, section 8 housing along with public school placement and who knows what else! God bless you noble Senior Citizen Trish. We South Carolinians would never do what Sewer Soon City did to you.

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  • next doorFebruary 02, 2014 - 11:26 am

    whomever buys this business please consider renting space at the harbor master office , if the harbor master would be so kind to sub-lease a window there you will have the visibility that is needed.

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