With the sun shining and the heat rising, it’s the perfect time to go out and enjoy some time on the water.
Prescott offers many beautiful, scenic lakes, and when the time comes to go, a boat or paddle-board rental is just a click away thanks to Matthew Moritz at Prescott Outdoors.
Sitting down with Matthew I immediately picked up his excitement about sharing his love for nature and adventure. He explained that he began leading kayak and canoe tours through Connecticut at the age of 22, where his passion for the outdoors was born. Over the following few years he pursued this further, to eventually lead whitewater rafting tours, guiding vacationers through outdoor activities at resorts in the area, and trying his hand at retail sales at a camping-supply shop. His expertise won him a yearlong work visa in New Zealand, where he spent eight months working and four more traveling.
“I lived out of my car, my tent and mountain huts mostly, and traveled all over the North and South Islands of New Zealand to glaciers, volcanic areas, rainforests ... I had such an amazing time.”
After spending time roughing it, Matthew became more certain about his goals.
“Living in New Zealand solidified for me that I could never work in a cubicle or spend any amount of time working toward something I’m not passionate about.”
Matthew moved to Prescott in 2014 to pursue a degree in adventure education at Prescott College, and his graduate advisor introduced him to David Wheeler, who owned both Manzanita Outfitters and Prescott Outdoors. David asked Matthew to assist him at Goldwater Lake as a rental attendant.
Matthew felt that taking on this new chapter would be advantageous and help him learn more about the business aspects of his career. Drawing on his previous experience, he shone at the tasks asked of him during this time, climbing to management at Manzanita Outfitters. Eventually he went to work for David as a buyer.
“We traveled together, went to outdoor trade shows and sales meetings. In that time we became very close friends. We spent a lot of down and up time getting to know each other, all the way down to even our families.”
In April 2021 David sold Prescott Outdoors to Matthew. With tools passed down from David like margin-making and customer-service methods, Matthew feels ready to conquer his next chapter.
“Having somebody like him to guide me, whether it’s in business pursuits or even in personal life, was such a great experience. I consider David an absolute mentor. I admire his work ethic. He understood that his involvement in his business is what it took for it to succeed, and that’s exactly what I’m taking into this new ownership.”
Prescott Outdoors operates at Willow, Watson, and Goldwater lakes. Canoe and kayak rentals are available by the hour up to a full day, as well as stand-up paddleboard rentals. Attendants offer paddling lessons, and life jackets are included with special accommodations for children. The service even offers onsite concessions, selling ice-cream treats and cold drinks to accompany the experience.
To book a kayak, canoe or stand-up paddleboard, visit Prescottoutdoors.com and select your desired lake. You can also visit Matthew’s social-media pages: PrescottOutdoors on Instagram and Prescott Outdoors on Facebook.