Marinas on Lake Hamilton will be a hot spot for boat rentals this weekend. Owners are expecting hundreds of people to be in their shops and on the water this year.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — On this Independence Day weekend, lakes and rivers in Arkansas will be packed. 

Jefferson Talbot, co-owner of Hot Springs Marina, has been in business for two years and he said this Independence Day will be busy.

“So we’re the new kids on the block and we’re still learning as we go,” Talbot said. “Last year was a lot of trial by fire. This year we are little more prepared.”

He said he is already booked this Sunday for the Fourth of July from people who want to rent boats.

“People start calling as soon as we open the reservation books, about March. They are already calling to get that Fourth of July reservation made,” Talbot said.

Jazmine Carley is the rental manager at Paradise Cove Marina. She said they are already seeing an increase in boat rentals this year.

“Last year was the best year we’ve ever had here. This year, we’re beating the numbers a little bit,” Carley said.

That is good news as Carley has said a shortage on boat parts has made business more difficult for people who are trying to rent many of their watercrafts.

“We can’t get our parts in time, so some renters aren’t going to be able to go out. Some personal boating too because we have a shop here. We can’t get their parts in,” Carley said.

It is a similar issue that Talbot is facing at his shop too.

“Right now our rental fleet is down. Because of COVID we’ve got multiple boats on order, waiting on those to come in,” Talbot said.

Despite the shortages, he said he’s happy to still be able to rent what is in his fleet and he wants people to have a little patience this Independence Day.

“It is Independence Day. There is a lot of traffic,” Talbot said. “Just be mindful of that and keep a smile on your face and be understanding.”

There will be a fireworks display on Lake Hamilton that you can view from the water or on land.

The show will start at 9 p.m. on Sunday, July 4.