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Western Maryland whitewater course opening for season

MCHENRY — A western Maryland whitewater course is opening for its first season under public ownership.

Garrett County officials say the Adventure Sports Center International near McHenry will open Saturday. The county acquired the manmade course in March after the nonprofit developer defaulted on more than $3 million in bank loans.

In a bid to boost sales, the county is offering reduced rates to residents of Garrett County. Instead of the regular preseason rate of $45 per person, county residents can ride in inflatable rafts for $25, or just $10 for those who bring their own boats.

The course has averaged about 11,000 rafters a year during its first five seasons. That’s far below the 25,000 that operators projected when the course opened in 2007.