Update: Beanie’s has not been sold; the Nelsons have signed a contract to purchase. Beanie’s is still owned by the the Mau family, and the annual River Rat fishing tournament is still happening on Sept. 17.
A popular private boat launch on the St. Croix River just south of the I-94 bridge has been purchased by a married couple that plans to use the site to express their religious faith. Beanie’s at Maui’s Landing will continue providing river access, while also providing a place to worship next to the water – and on it.
Carol and Derek Nelson also pledge to never charge a fee for using the boat launch. The previous owners collected $10-20 to put a boat in the water at the site.
“Nobody should ever have to pay to have access to the holy cross river,” Derek told the Lowdown newspaper. “So one of the first things that we’re doing is that you’ll never be charged to launch your boat on the river ever again at this site.”
The Nelsons’ say the St. Croix is the perfect place to celebrate Jesus, its name even translates to “Holy Cross” in French. The couple are particularly interested in Christ’s teachings about “meekness,” which they explain means “sacrificing more, being more humble, watching the words that you say, treating people with respect, being friends of sinners.”
They hope the facility can be used to connect more people with the St. Croix River and God.
The new owners also intend to keep employing about 20 people, many of them local teenagers, to operate the facility. Their purchase included the fleet of boats that the previous owners had rented out.