The Dolly Steamboat has been welcoming guests at Canyon Lake, beckoning them to discover the natural beauty and soaring canyon walls as they gracefully glide through the water. It takes a special team of people to maintain the majestic sternwheeler and to offer the world class service for which Dolly Steamboat has become synonymous.
Owners Jeff Grimh and Cindi DeLoseur have put all their efforts into making sure that guests aboard the Dolly Steamboat have an unforgettable journey. Since 1987, Grimh and DeLoseur have been welcoming guests from around the world and booking private charters for weddings, anniversaries and other special events. Their voyage of Dolly Steamboat ownership has been remarkable. When they purchased the Dolly Steamboat back in the 1980s, there was a lot of work to be done and they saw the potential for growth.
“We pulled it out of the water immediately and doubled its size,” explains DeLoseur. “It went from 40 passengers, to 80 and then we put it back in the water. We were just taking the company over at that point, so we were starting from scratch, basically. I remember back when we first took over, we started in with Apache Trail Attractions. There were four of us on a flier like a dollar bill and you could take the bill and take it to each one of the businesses and get a buck off a head. That’s funny, but it’s one of the first marketing things we did.”
“We are active throughout the valley and we belong to 12 different chamber of commerce. That keeps both Dolly and I extremely busy with events and such” Deloseur says. She is referring to Dolly Kennedy, the previous owner and now marketing and PR representative for Dolly Steamboat.
Dolly Steamboat now includes eight employees, including Dolly Kennedy. “About five years after we bought the Dolly, I called Dolly Kennedy up and asked her if she would be my social butterfly and go to breakfasts, luncheons and maybe some trade shows,” explains DeLoseur. “She has worked all that time. She’s been back with us for 25 years. That’s what keeps her going.”
In looking towards the future, Deloseur and her brother, Grimh are looking to continue the flow of customers and there is even some talk that down the road they may possibly get a bigger boat so that even more people can enjoy the views and educational experiences at Canyon Lake. DeLoseur finishes, “We always try to improve, and one of the biggest things we always work on is our customer service.”
The popular Scenic Nature Cruise is a 1 ½ house, 6 mile cruise that will reveal the wildlife and beauty of Canyon Lake during the narrated journey. There is always something new to discover during a Dolly Steamboat cruise. The Scenic Nature Cruise runs 12 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday during the summer months, and all cruises van be booked online. It is always advisable to call or book ahead of time in case of any change in scheduling.
The Dolly Steamboat Twilight Dinner Cruise is 2 ½ hours and includes a full buffet dinner as you watch the sun sink behind the cliffs and capture the desert beauty as the moon rises and the stars reveal themselves. Catering is provided by Brown Brothers Catering of Arizona the menu always includes two entrees; beef, pork or fish and chicken. The food alone continually receives rave reviews! Private charters are also available for just about any event. The Dolly Steamboat has full catering available for guests who need it.
Each month, there is also a very special 2 ½ hour Astronomy Cruise (including dinner) with “Dr. Sky,” Steve Kates who will give cruise guests a breakdown of the night sky and interpret the constellations in a fun and engaging way. He uses a red laser beam to point to and distinguish the stars about which he is speaking. This is the perfect time to learn more about our galaxy of stars!
For additional information on the Dolly Steamboat, cruise schedule, a photo gallery, convenient online reservations and directions to the Canyon Lake Marina, visit www.dollysteamboat.com. For any other questions or to arrange private charters or corporate events, please call (480) 827-9144.