May 30 Newsletter on Lake Cumberland/Wolf Creek Dam
Friends of Lake Cumberland –
An updated ramp map is available. Only minor changes from the Memorial Day Weekend map. It can also be accessed at www.kentuckytourism.com. Click on the Lake Cumberland icon.
MEMORIAL DAY HOLIDAY WEEKEND PICTURES WANTED!
We are looking to update our photo gallery with pictures of what the lake looked like over the Memorial Day Holiday Weekend, hopefully showing lots of boats and big crowds.
Please send pictures to me at this e-mail address (email@example.com).
Please include a note indicating that we are free to use the photos as we wish and free of charge.
We will include them in our newsletter and on our photo gallery as we receive them.
PROMISING START TO SUMMER SEASON AT LAKE CUMBERLAND
Frankfort, KY – The preliminary reports are in and early numbers show a promising start to the summer tourism season at Lake Cumberland.
Data released today from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shows approximately 223,000 travelers visited the Lake Cumberland region during the Memorial Day weekend, compared with some 243,000 in 2006.
Bill Jasper, who runs the State Dock Marina said, “We’re as busy as we can be,” and added that he had rented all of his ski boats and pontoons and saw a slight decrease in houseboats rentals. Overall, he estimates business was up 25% as compared to the 2006 Memorial Day Weekend.
The Kentucky Department of Tourism worked with local tourism offices in the region and with the Southern and Eastern Kentucky Tourism Development Association (SEKTDA) to get maps and ramp information distributed at convenient locations around the lake. Vicki Kidd of SEKTDA said, “Late last week, we scrambled around getting signs and rack cards made on dialing 511 concerning Lake Cumberland and launch information. The staff went around personally on Thursday and Friday putting the information on various locations. Our preparation paid off because calls to the 511 information line doubled this year over last. That includes a 213% increase for Friday, an 85% increase for Saturday, a 70% increase on Sunday and a 115% increase on Monday over 2006 calls.”
Parks Commissioner J.T. Miller said business at the four state resort parks in the Southern Lakes Tourism region (which includes Lake Cumberland) was roughly the same as in 2006. Lake Cumberland State Resort Park sold fewer cottage reservations but more lodge rooms, and overall Parks revenue for the region was higher than last year.
“After the dire predictions that followed the lowering of the water level at the lake, having a visitation drop of less than ten percent is unbelievably good news, said Tourism Commissioner Randy Fiveash. “Now we will go to work to alleviate all other misconceptions about the lake and get the visitation levels back to normal. Those who enjoyed the lake over the weekend said they didn’t know what all the fuss was about. Once those people go home and tell their friends, visitation should grow considerably.”
Governor Fletcher directed all state agencies to work together to enhance tourism opportunities in the region to counteract the effects of a lower water level. The Kentucky Commerce and Transportation Cabinets worked with Hilda Legg, Executive Director of Interagency Services for the Lake Cumberland Region and with officials at Southern and Eastern Kentucky Tourism Development Association (SEKTDA), to smooth the way for visitors.
Commerce Secretary George Ward ensured cooperation among all Commerce agencies. “Many of our agencies are actively involved in attracting and entertaining visitors to the water, as well as keeping them safe. This was a great display of cooperation and I’m pleased with the results.”
“I visited several ramps and spoke with people from Richmond, Georgetown, Louisville, plus visitors from Ohio and Indiana and they were all very positive about their experiences” explained Ms. Legg. “The fact that we had online maps available of open boat launching ramps helped a great deal, plus we had the portable transportation information signs in the area plus a heavy call load to the 511 information line. I believe it was a great start.”
Captain Tim Catron of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources has patrolled Lake Cumberland for 18 years. “I’ve talked to a lot of people this weekend and everybody is tickled to death,” said Captain Catron. “Most folks thought it was better than in years past, thanks to the extra attention and the weather. Based on what I heard and saw, I think when visitors go home and talk to their friends, people will say there is plenty of water and it is still an excellent time.”
Reverend Gary L. Jackson agrees with that assessment. Rev. Jackson, pastor at the Friendship Baptist Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, traveled to Lake Cumberland for the weekend and upon his return, sent the Commerce Cabinet this message:
Please pass along to the Governor that the Cumberland Boaters and “Ohio Navy” is very grateful and appreciative of the response to the water level at Lake Cumberland. This past week was the BEST Memorial Day lake conditions I have experienced in the 19 straight years I have been there with my family. The Lord even blessed the Lake with His good weather. (The people of the church I pastor know I jokingly refer to Lake Cumberland as “heaven on earth”). I put in at Burnside Island State Park and the ramps were in perfect shape – I was amazed at the completion! It was apparent there was extra effort…Your efforts and information made it easy for me not to change my summer plans for Lake Cumberland and the first experience was BETTER than hoped for. You have an ambassador in Cincinnati and I will be encouraging my friends that have gone elsewhere to return to support the good people of the Lake Cumberland area.
“The summer vacation season is off to a great start, thanks to the efforts of Governor Fletcher and the loyal customers who returned to Lake Cumberland,” said Hilda Legg. “Many boaters have been coming to this lake for decades. From everything we saw and heard this weekend, they plan to return and will tell their friends that Lake Cumberland has plenty of water to enjoy.”
The Omega/Buck Creek Ramp sustained structural damage over the Memorial Day Holiday Weekend and will be closed for the next 10-14 days according to the Corps. It should reopen by Wednesday June 13, according to the Corps.
The “new” Halcomb’s Landing Ramp will be closed to hasten the extension of that ramp project. The “old” Halcomb’s Landing will remain open. Right now that is limited to one lane and only smaller boats can be launched from that site.
The “new” ramp is expected to be completed around the beginning of July, according to the Corps.
LIST OF RAMPS SCHEDULED TO BE OPEN
- Alligator II
- Beaver Creek
- Conley Bottom Resort
- Cumberland Point recreation Area
- Fall Creek Recreation Area
- General Burnside Island State Park
- Grider Hill Marina
- Halcomb’s Landing
- Jamestown Marina
- Lake Cumberland State Resort Park
- Lee’s Ford Marina
- Lilly Creek
- Noes Dock #2 (Bee’s Creek)
- Old Waitsboro Crossing
- Omega/Buck Creek Marina
- Piney Grove
- Pleasant Hill
- Slate Branch
- Waitsboro Recreation Area
LIST OF COUNTY RAMPS TO BE EXTENDED IN THE COMING WEEKS
Russell County ramp extension projects total: $479,409. Ramps to be extended are:
Bates road ramp Pleasant Hill ramp
Campbells road ramp Poplar Hill road ramp
Clifty Creek ramp Rowena ramp
Denney Ridge ramp Twin Oak ramp
Island road ramp
Wayne County ramp extension projects total $313,505. Ramps to be extended are:
Bunkum Road/Carter’s Dock ramp Ramsey Point ramp
Clearwater/Panhandle ramp Shelton Branch ramp
Cumberland Glen ramp Stinger/Rankin-Orchard ramp
Jonesville ramp Tate I ramp
Meece-Sellars/White Oak ramp Tate II ramp
Mystic View ramp Twyfor’s Point ramp
Park Forest/Beshears ramp
Pulaski County ramp extension projects total $64,935. Ramps to be extended are:
Cave Creek ramp (Diamond Acres Community)
Doodletown road ramp (Garland Bend ramp)
Echo Point boat ramp (Aderholt road)
Jasper Bend ramp (Jasper Bend Community)
Piney Woods boat ramp (Naomi Community)
Springwater boat ramp (Pole Bridge Community)
Waitstboro Crossing ramp (End of Old Waitsboro road)
WEB SITES OF INTEREST
Jamestown Resort Marina, from the motel island looking ESE out to the main lake.
LIVE WEBCAM ON LAKE CUMBERLAND