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Cortez Watersports- Family Fun Center!

Cortez Watersports- Family Fun Center!

| Sande Caplin |

John Cadmus… aka Johnny Jett… is no stranger to working the docks. A third generation Cortezian, he has called them home his whole life. His grandparents bought the property just to the north of the Cortez bridge back in ‘52.  The property was part of the working waterfront of Cortez, as was most of the waterfront properties back in those days. Almost hiding between Annie’s Bait and Tackle and the foot of the Cortez bridge, the building itself dates back to the 1920’s. It once belonged to Moore’s Stone Crab, where they would process and store fresh claws.

John Cadmus... aka Johnny JettHis grandparents leased it to a boat club operation in the 70’s and 80’s which would end up being John’s first job. It is when he began what would be a lifetime of working the docks he loves.   His grandparents leased it to a boat club operation in the 70’s and 80’s which would end up being John’s first job. It is when he began what would be a lifetime of working the docks he loves. 

In 1995, John was able to lease the property for himself, and move his Jet Ski Rental business he had opened a few years prior. Since then nearly every teenager in the neighborhood has worked at least a summer or two at John’s shop over the years. More than 20 years later he’s still working the dock he loves along with his wife Lacey and daughter Skyland.

CortezwatersportsYou need look no further than Google reviews or Trip Advisor to see that his formula for success is working. 

“The family environment that they set as soon as you walk in the door is great.” 

“We had so much fun. 8 hours in the bay watching dolphins swim by. There were 3 adults and the rest children all ages. Parking at the sand reefs swimming, snorkeling, fishing, stand up paddle boats included. Sand dollars everywhere and crabs. All the guys and little Zada sooooo nice and explained the new pontoon boat and map on the bay. Will definitely go again if we’re in the area. Please go you’ll have a great time!!! Something we’ll not forget!!!!”

“The place is wonderful we rented a boat. It was completely hassle free. Sky was extremely friendly and helpful and enabled us to do it without any problems. I would recommend families go there first time Boat Users. We had three families from Georgia and two from Virginia. We will come back”

Jet Skis at Cortezwatersports“The staff is like family and not in a cheesy way. They are just down to earth and so friendly. The prices are the lowest around and the area they have available to jet ski is better than the others. I would recommend this place to anyone that’s looking to go jet skiing in the Sarasota Bradenton area. On my one-hour trip I saw upwards to 10 dolphins!”

The reviews go on and on and on like that. All tourism based industries have to be tough to survive. Weather, red tide, dips in the economy, they all have you at their mercy all the time. For more than 20 years now, Cortez Watersports has survived, and thrived through it all. John attributes a lot of his ability to grow and stay competitive to the Internet and social media. “I would say 80% of our bookings are now done through our website.” With technology and social media helping to expose him to a wider audience, he is better able to use his time with improvements to the shop (it was built in the 20’s after all) and enjoy the work day with his family. Want to rent a boat for a half or full day? They have a fleet of boats to accommodate anywhere from 2 to 12 passengers. They even throw in ice, paddle boards, kayaks, snorkel gear, swim noodles, fishing rods and bait buckets…all at no extra charge to you. Feeling a bit more adventurous? The riding area for jet skis is the largest in the area and the prices are the best around. {googleads right}

Check out their website at or stop in and say hi at 4328 127th Street West, right at the foot of the Cortez Bridge. To call for more info or reservations call 941-798-3721. If you want to spend an hour or a day on the water, they’ve got you covered. It’s almost as if you’re part of the family, because once you’re there…. you are!

photos from Facebook and Cortezwatersports website.


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