For Maryland native and North Carolina A&T graduate Donald Boone, attending Yacht Week in Croatia was something that he wanted to do, but at the time he didn’t have the money for. While living in Houston, he decided to bring a similar experience stateside for those that were in the same boat. In 2016, Austin Yacht Week was born.
“At the time of its inception, Yacht Week Croatia was all over Instagram and becoming a really big thing,” Donald told Travel Noire. “I clearly remember wanting to go but not having Croatia money. I lived in Houston at the time, but Austin was always one of my favorite cities in the country, with one of my favorite bodies of water in Lake Travis located right outside of city limits.”
To create his own Croatia experience, he invited a small group of friends to Lake Travis. The gathering was such as success that five years later, it is still taking place each year.
The weekend-long event is what Donald calls a lit spring break for adults. Things usually kick off with a giant house party that Friday and on Saturday after an opening toast, it’s time to grab your rafts and load up on the boat for a fun day of drinking and partying on the lake.
With the event growing each year, there are plans to find a bigger venue for the Friday welcome party. There are more than 300 people expected to attend with people coming from 22 states and 65 cities. At a price of less than $100 with alcohol, it’s no surprise that this is becoming one of the must-attend events of the year.
“The first priority has always been to create an amazing experience for people, not get rich, and I don’t plan on changing that,” Donald said.
While expanding the event beyond Texas is something he considers, Donald wants to focus on making it even bigger and better in Austin first.
“Expansion is definitely something I’ve thought about. There are a lot of things that make Austin unique and perfect for something like this. But there are obviously other lakes and bodies of water throughout the country and world where an Austin Yacht Week experience can work.”