Comings and Goings: Wake park makes you forget you’re in Woodland

By From page A10 | July 20, 2014

Taking my teenage boys to Velocity Island Park on its opening day only for a photo opportunity was like showing my dog the tennis ball without throwing it. Instead of appreciation, there was frustration — and possibly some drooling.

Velocity Island Park, a wakeboarding park with cable pulleys, opened on Thursday. It’s at the former Dubach Park baseball facility at 755 N. East St., in Woodland, just off of Highway 113.

The cables gently pull up to six boarders around the lake at a time. Rentals of wakeboards, helmets and life vests are available, but those with their own equipment can bring wake skateboards, water skis, kneeboards and more.

The owners, April and Scott Hartmann, are 12-year Woodland residents. It’s taken four years to make the park a reality, April said.

“Just seeing people come out here and have a blast — it’s pretty cool,” she said, watching boarders ride a rail — one of several play features on the lake.

The Hartmanns, who have three boys, ages 13, 12 and 4, wanted to bring the sport to the area (the closest similar park is in Roseville) because “many kids around here have never been to a lake or ocean because they can’t afford it.” The couple also owns a decorative concrete business in Woodland called Concreators.

The idea is to create an island vibe and resort atmosphere. “We want you to forget you’re in Woodland,” she said.

There’s a sand beach, with lounge chairs and volleyball nets to come. An island will have cabanas for rent, and a full bar opening around October. A deli should be serving food next month, and eventually, there will be a full restaurant, April said.

Equipment should arrive soon to offer standup paddle boarding on the lake from 8 to 10 a.m. The rest of the park is open daily from 11 a.m. to sunset. It is expected to run year-round, weather permitting. Passes are for two hours, four hours, all day or all season. Lessons, summer camps and professional competitions will be part of the routine as well.


The Davis Flea will host its first Davis Night Market on Sunday, July 27, from 6 to 9 p.m., followed by a dance party until 11 p.m.

“It will be a great open house style event for folks eager to meet our community and see exactly what we’re up to in our big ol’ warehouse on Olive Drive,” founder Lauren Cole Norton said.

Like the regular market — usually the last weekend of the month — the night event features vintage and repurposed housewares and clothing, succulent plants, handmade prints and other finds. There will be adoptable dogs from the animal shelter, a food truck and live music from Doofy Doo.

The rest of the time, the area serves as pop-up shops, galleries, workshops and a music venue called Third Space. One of the recent additions is Rowan & Sarah Vintage + More, a vintage clothing boutique, owned by Alicia Matzke of Sacramento.


The owners of the new Nami Sushi at 2939 Spafford St., Suite 105, hope to have it open by mid-August in the former Sushi Nobu spot.

According to one of the employees who was there on Thursday, it will specialize in all-you-can-eat sushi that is made to order, not a buffet. Items may be ordered separately as well.


After 22 years, Little Prague Bohemian Restaurant closed last Sunday. Old Soul Co. will remodel the property to accommodate a new café, patio and bar at 330 G St. That pub will go by a separate name, The Handle Bar. The owners hope to open it as early as November.


The Root of Happiness Kava Bar opened on July 11. I tried kava. It numbs your tongue a bit, and has an earthy, bitter flavor. It’s best when mixed with juice or syrups, like the “Kavajito.”

Kava, a traditional Polynesian, nonalcoholic root prepared as a tea, is hailed for its calming, anxiety- and pain-reducing effects. Although not required by law, employees check IDs and serve only to those 18 and over. It’s open from 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. daily at 211 F St. in the E Street Plaza.


There’s nothing new to report on the Target center. In an email on Thursday, a representative with Buzz Oates Management Services said vacations among those involved have delayed an anticipated deal on a 3,500-square-foot spot. Earlier this month, it revealed lease agreements with Styles For Less and Verizon Wireless.


Speaking of vacations, I need one. Please keep watch on the business scene while my family hits its own waves for the next week. Hopefully, we make it past Woodland.

— Wendy Weitzel is a freelance writer and editor in Davis. Her column publishes on Sundays. Throughout the week, watch her Comings & Goings Facebook page. If you know about a business coming or going in the area, contact Wendy at [email protected].

Wendy Weitzel

Wendy Weitzel

Wendy Weitzel is a longtime journalist and Davis resident. She is a former managing editor of The Davis Enterprise, working there from 1998-2008. She has written her Comings & Goings business column since 2001. Today, she does freelance writing, editing, marketing and design.
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