Jan. 31 Newsletter on Lake Cumberland/Wolf Creek Dam
Friends of Lake Cumberland –
Only three news articles to report today, located at the bottom.
If you ever have any questions, please e-mail them back to me at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try and get you an answer. Although many answers we don’t know yet – such as specific times and costs, etc.
If folks are interested in learning more about the KY Tourism Development Loan Program – you are encouraged to contact Todd Cassidy at the KY Dept. of Tourism at 502-564-8067 or email@example.com.
LET FOLKS KNOW THEY CAN VIEW THIS AND PAST NEWSLETTERS BY GOING TO www.commerce.ky.gov AND SCROLLING TO THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE AND LOOKING IN THE “NEWS” SECTION.
ITEMS OF INTEREST
On the Net: Corps Nashville District: http://www.lrn.usace.army.mil/
Corps of Engineers Public Meeting Schedule2231 26th Ave. N., Nashville.
_ Tuesday, Feb. 6, 6:30 p.m., Metro North Police Precinct,
_ Monday, Feb. 12, 6:30 p to 8:00 pm, Hendersonville First Baptist Church
(PLEASE NOTE CHANGE IN LOCATION FOR MEETING ABOVE)
_ Thursday, Feb. 15, 6:30 p.m., Gallatin City Hall, 132 W. Main St., Gallatin. ___
RECENT NEWS ARTICLES
Maps of possible flood areas to be released
Corps commander: Wolf Creek Dam not in imminent danger of failure
By BILL MARDIS Editor Emeritus
“I would feel safe. I would personally take my family and camp at Kendall campground.”
CVB trying to offset negative publicity
By TRICIA NEAL CJ Staff Writer
The mission of the Somerset-Pulaski Convention and Visitor’s Bureau has always been to promote our region to tourists.
Now that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced its decision to lower the levels of our main tourist attraction — Lake Cumberland — the CVB is facing the reality that the area is going to be a little harder to sell.
The CVB’s board met earlier this week to begin formulating ways to combat the potentially negative publicity the region could receive because of the lowered lake levels.
Board members are hoping to spread the word that there will still be usable boat ramps in Pulaski County, that Lake Cumberland is still the third largest lake in Kentucky, and that there are some little-known advantages to having a lower lake level.
Rodney Dick of the Pulaski County Road Department told the board he would soon have a list of the number of boat ramps which will be usable in Pulaski County once the lake level has been lowered. When that list is available, the CVB plans to begin promoting those ramps.
“We’ll need good mapping and good directions of what ramps are available,” board member Johnny Tuttle said.
“Everyone that rents rooms, everyone that we collect taxes from — they need to know where those ramps are.”
Longtime CVB board member Lois Hatfield lived near the Cumberland River before Lake Cumberland was created.
“There will be a lot of beautiful scenery, and still a lot of water,” Hatfield said.
Becky Hines of Phoenix Promotions, who organizes advertising campaigns for Burnside Marina and Beaver Creek Resort, says she’s been trying to spread the word that tourists who come to Lake Cumberland while water levels are down will have the historic opportunity to “see something they’ll never get to see” — some of the buildings of Burnside and other road beds which have been submerged for decades.
Hines has also created a memo explaining to some tourists “what’s hitting us,” she said.
“Many of you are aware that the Wolf Creek Dam on Lake Cumberland will be undergoing some needed repairs over the next year. With 35,000 acres of open water and 1,200 miles of shoreline, Lake Cumberland will still be fulfilling all your boating and sport fishing needs,” the memo says.
The memo promises that local marinas are making modifications to ensure that visitors have the best access possible to Lake Cumberland.
“From the first color of spring to the last golden leaf in the fall, Lake Cumberland is still some of the best houseboating in Kentucky. ... This is a great opportunity to see Lake Cumberland as it has not been seen in almost 70 years and to witness a modern marvel as the dam repairs get underway,” the memo continues.
Another advantage to the lower lake levels: The boating season could begin as early as April because less litter will be floating in the water.
The board decided this week that the CVB should send out weekly updates to local hotels, boat docks, newspapers, and others, letting the public know the current status of lake levels, open docks, and other information.
The board is also going to look into the possibility of installing a web cam on the lake so Internet users can see the water in real time.
“People can get on and see boats going up and down,” board member Joel Zimmer said.
“I think it would be worth our money to do that. That way, people aren’t reading about it. They’re seeing it.”
CVB board members believe the Bureau will need more advertising money than its current budget contains. They are considering ways to raise more money for advertising.
“We will be the only voice saying, ‘Come to Pulaski County.’ We need to have our own advertising campaign,” said Zimmer.
Board chairman Mark Bastin said the board decided recently to frequent boat shows in surrounding states less often — a choice that proved to be untimely, since those shows would have presented opportunities to spread the word that Lake Cumberland is still open for business.
“How do we get the word out? How do we overcome the press that’s out there already?” Bastin asked.
“We’ve got an $80,000 advertising budget to try to combat something that has this big of an impact. I just don’t see that as being enough.”
Some board members are expressing hope that tourists will return in force next year, even though lake levels are expected to remain low for up to seven years.
Board member Bill Neikirk recalled that when the lake was lowered in the 1970s, “tourism dropped the first year, and then they came back.”
The CVB will hold another meeting next Monday to continue to tackle the issue of promoting the lake in its lowered state.
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