Sailing: Something to treasure on Utah Lake
Hoisting a sail, watching the breeze fill the canvas with wind energy, hearing the waves lap on the sides of the boat, seeing other craft on the waters – this is the ultimate for a beautiful, peaceful feeling on Utah Lake. When tied up in the tense knots and experiencing stressful moments of life, Todd and Louise Frye, owners of Bonneville School of Sailing, set sail on one of their favorite boats, affectionately called “Boaty.”
Mr. Frye believes Utah Lake is misunderstood, misused, and needs to be developed in the proper way. “It is an asset that is not realized,” said Mr. Frye. The public’s misunderstanding stigmatizes the progress Utah Lake could be making.
Todd came from St. Paul, Minnesota a state of at least 10,000 lakes. Louise lived in Vancouver, British Columbia, and was used to going to the beach, so it seemed natural to include water bodies as part of their life’s dream. They have introduced their love of water to their four children and five grandchildren who affectionately call Utah Lake “Papa’s Lake.”
In 1999, Todd purchased his first sailboat. Again, in 2000 another boat, which they named their favorite boat Boaty after a character from “The Wind in the Willows.”
Todd retired in February 2007, and “it became a time for decisions,” said Todd. In spring 2007, they opened up their unique business called “Bonneville School of Sailing,” which teaches basic sailing skills. They base their school in Springville, but Utah Lake is the home waters for the instruction. In their four years, they have instructed or taken out over 550 people. They hold sailing and racing clinics. For three years, they have hosted the Keelboat Regatta at the Utah Summer Games. Recently, corporations are utilizing them as a maritime reward for outstanding employees. Other private companies are utilizing the school in a “team building” experience. They are limited sometimes between the number of employees versus the number the boat will hold.
Students take six, three-hour lessons out on the sailboat as well as pass the certification process. They initially had ten students. Their business has continued for four years. Todd compliments Louise as being “the organizer” and he is the “teaser.” They are a well-matched couple as they support their goal of spreading the love of sailing. They have sailed in the Seattle area, Bear Lake, Lake Powell, Catalina, Croatia, Great Salt Lake, Hawaii, and Florida.
The uncertain weather this year has taken its toll on their business. Their desires and abilities continue to help their business to grow with entrepreneurial ideas. This year they instigated an intermediate course they are teaching, with more ideas to come.
The School not only teaches sailing, but also has seasonal pleasure cruises. These are short seasonal sailing trips on Utah Lake. There are the Sunset Sails, which guests get to observe the sunset from Utah Lake at a cost of $85 with dessert. They host a Discovery Sail, which is a two-hour cruise. Family rates are available. They may host a Haunted Cruise with stories of the Utah Lake Monster, and other myths of the lake with a haunted newsletter.
Visitors from Korea, back east, and California as well as local citizens have utilized the peaceful experience since the organization of the company.
Todd also refinishes boats. Several have been given to him to restore including a 50-foot and a 19-foot sailboat. One was for the specific purpose of helping at-risk teens have a maritime experience. The Fryes would like to open a Nautical Museum some day. The museum, not normally found in dry, arid regions, would give a hands-on experience to the guests and offer fun and interesting things.
Todd says there are two kinds of people in the world, the takers and the givers, or the consumers and the producers. He would like people to be more of the givers and producer-types of people when it comes to Utah Lake. “The lake is to enjoy and something to treasure. We need to keep it clean and preserve it for the future.