JetTribe Core Watercraft Company officials have been given the go-ahead to host a jet ski watercraft exhibit on Coleman Lake in the spring.
Dinh Tran, senior partner of Vosh International Corp, told Sulphur Springs City Council that with the help of the Sulphur Springs-Hopkins County Economic Development Corporation Tony and Sarah Whitehead, founders of JetTribe, have established a distribution center in Sulphur Springs.
Tran explained that over the last 6-7 months, the JetTribe founders have been so impressed with the hospitality from the Sulphur Springs community welcoming them, that they were seeking permission to hold a water ski exhibition on Lake Coleman on May 15-16.
“Tony and Sarah have been co-hosting many events internationally. They feel like it’s something they’d like to give back to the community and introduce them to the sport of jet ski,” Tran said.
He said the event would serve as a test for potentially other events. The exhibition would welcome the entire community to attend. Depending on how successful the May event is, company officials would like to eventually make Sulphur Springs a location for a qualifying stage in the sport.
“Currently, at this moment, only California, New York and Florida have the right to do that. I strongly believe that Tony and Sarah have the ability to host such an event here in Sulphur Springs. At this moment, , from our estimation, if we get approval, we can bring anywhere from 50 to 100 riders from throughout Texas to come up here and do an exhibition on it. Our estimation, I think it will bring in a great financial impact to the city of Sulphur Springs. It’s something different, something that in my opinion that hasn’t been done in Texas,” Tran said.
City Manager Marc Maxwell noted that there is one stumbling block for this request. The city has an ordinance that prohibits motorized boats on the Coleman Lake unless the parks and recreation board approves it. Since the city no longer has a parks and recreation board, the matter request was presented to the City Council during their Dec. 3 meeting.
“Assuming the lake is deep enough, it looks like a great opportunity,” Place 6 Council member Doug Moore said.
Tran affirmed it is; the only requirement for the event is that the lake be 3 feet deep.
Place 7 Councilman John Sellers asked how many actual jet skis would be on the lake during the exhibition.
Sarah Whitehead, who in addition to being a founder is also vice president of JetTribe, said that at any one time there would be 10-12 on the lake; people take turns.
Sellers asked based on the lake, it’s size and proximity to the city, if it’d be a good place to hold that kind of event.
“I think so. It’s a good centrally located lake for the community. You could view the spectating pretty much all the way around the lake and it’s deep enough. We can lay out the course in such a way so that it can fit the lake. It will have the timed closed-course type of race, where people race against the buoys and the clock. Then, there will be another portion where they can do free-styling, and do some tricks and flips and stuff to please the crowd, more or less. It will go in phases,” Whitehead explained.
Mayor Norman Sanders asked if both the upper and lower portions of the lake could be used.
Whitehead head asked if the upper portion was the smaller section of the lake. She said the only thing discussed for that would be potentially holding a side attraction for kids to do something there. It wouldn’t necessarily be part of the event, however.
Tran said likely some type of remote controlled boats and little watercraft toys would be used at the event to introduce kids to the sport.
Sellers made the motion, which was seconded by Place 5 Councilman Jeff Sanderson, and unanimously approved by the council, to allow JetTribe to hold a jet ski watercraft exhibition event at Coleman Lake.