FRANKFORT, Ky. – Robbie Rudolph, secretary of Governor Ernie Fletcher’s executive cabinet, visited Gilbertsville today to announce plans for major renovation work at the state’s two largest park resort lodges. Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park and Lake Barkley State Resort Park will receive $10.2 million in funding for improvements that will significantly update both facilities.
“This investment is part of our commitment to improving state park facilities across Kentucky,” Secretary Rudolph said. “Kentucky Dam Village and Lake Barkley are two very visible parks, and we want to make sure visitors have an excellent and memorable experience. These facilities are an important part of the state parks system, and are key attractions which will boost tourism in the region.”
The $4.3 million project at Kentucky Dam Village will include renovation work at the conference center. The project calls for replacing floor coverings, ceiling and wall finishes, doors, electrical and plumbing fixtures and making repairs to exterior wood siding.
“We realize the importance of conference centers in drawing conventions and business meetings to an area,” said Commerce Secretary George Ward, who also participated in the announcement. “This is another example of how this administration is helping to stimulate economic development.”
“Tourism is one of the most significant industries we have in Western Kentucky,” said Sen. Ken Winters (R-Murray). “I’m extremely pleased to see us working to make our state park facilities meet and exceed the comfort of commercial properties in our area.”
“The investments we make today in our state parks will pay great dividends in the future,” said Rep. Melvin Henley (R-Murray). “Tourism is an important part of Western Kentucky’s economy. I am pleased to see this much needed work to improve our state parks get underway.”
The 72 lodge rooms at Kentucky Dam Village will get new wall, ceiling and floor finishes, wood doors and frames, and new mechanical, furniture, electrical and plumbing fixtures.
The $5.87 million project at Lake Barkley will upgrade the 124 lodge rooms with new granite-top vanities, carpet, wall coverings, furniture, painting and mechanical and electrical upgrades.
New heating and cooling systems with individual room controls will be installed in both facilities, adding to the comfort of overnight guests.
“This funding will significantly improve these two important state parks,” said Rep. J.R. Gray (D-Benton). “This is a needed investment which will greatly enhance the tourism opportunities in Western Kentucky.”
Work has already started at both parks. Half of the rooms at Kentucky Dam Village will be closed for renovation through the end of January 2007. Once those rooms are completed, the remaining half will be closed for work, with completion expected in mid-May. Kentucky Dam Village has 64 cottages and a 14-room Village Green Lodge that will remain open during the renovation work. Crouch Building Associates, Inc. of Mayfield is the contractor.
At Lake Barkley, half of the lodge rooms will be closed for renovation work around November 20. The remaining half will be closed at the beginning of January. Half the rooms are scheduled to be completed by mid-March, with the remainder scheduled for completion by the end of April. All lodge rooms will undergo work between early January and mid-March, but the park’s 13 cottages and the 11-unit Little River Lodge will remain open. Lake Barkley will also make arrangements to accommodate visitors with the help of nearby parks. Cleaver Construction Co. of Murray is the contractor at Lake Barkley.
The parks’ restaurants, gift shops, golf courses and other services will remain open during the renovation work.
Most of the funding for these projects comes from a $60 million bond pool approved by the 2006 General Assembly for state parks.