Department of Tourism
Lake Cumberland Ready for Independence Day Holiday
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Just as he did for the Memorial Day holiday, Governor Ernie Fletcher has directed state agencies to work together to ensure visitors traveling to Lake Cumberland during the Independence Day holiday have no problem finding open boat launching ramps and getting to the water safely.
“The Memorial Day weekend was critical to starting a successful summer vacation season,” said Governor Fletcher. “Now as we head into the Fourth of July holiday, we must redouble our efforts to keep travelers coming to the lake and enjoying the recreational opportunities available. The simple fact is there’s plenty of water for everyone to enjoy.”
According to the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, lake traffic has been down this year due to the lowering of the lake to make needed repairs to Wolf Creek Dam, projected to take from five to seven years to complete.
Some 34 boat ramps at Lake Cumberland are now open for traffic and progress is being made every day, according to Governor Fletcher. "In fact, we are hearing from visitors who say they enjoy seeing the ‘new’ lake with the expanded shoreline and unusual rock formations that have been submerged for decades. It’s a wonderful new experience for people to enjoy.”
For the Independence Day holiday, a map with directions to all open ramps is available at www.KentuckyTourism.com (by clicking on the “Lake Cumberland” icon). In addition, call center operators from the Southern and Eastern Kentucky Tourism Development Association’s 511 Tourism Information line can provide up to date lake and ramp information. Callers within Kentucky can dial 5-1-1 and choose the tourism option #4, out-of-state callers dial 1-877-868-7735.
For the upcoming holiday, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will set up six variable traveler information message boards on major strategic highway routes into the lake area to assist tourists in accessing information. Also, the Kentucky Broadcasters Association once again has sent public service announcements promoting the lake to more than 300 radio and television stations in Kentucky.
One of the most important tasks has been fighting myths about the lake, according to Tourism Commissioner Randy Fiveash. “It has taken a constant, consistent effort to find the misinformation and correct it. It’s amazing how many rumors we’ve had to deal with.” Fiveash has placed a staff member, Van Back, on site in the lake Cumberland region to assist in those efforts. Back is serving as a daily liaison with tourism businesses around the lake, responding to their needs, correcting misinformation and looking for opportunities to promote the lake.
Others have joined in the effort to correct misinformation. Bill Jasper, operator of the State Dock at Lake Cumberland, says it has become part of his daily job. “When people come here they are amazed at all the water still here,” Jasper says. “In fact, newcomers tell me they don’t know what all the fuss is about, this lake is awesome.”
Diann Boone, General Manager of Grider Hill Dock on Lake Cumberland, has heard mainly positive comments from houseboat and moorage customers once they arrive at the lake. “Best time ever; we were able to explore more and it is easier to tie up the houseboats at this elevation” are comments Ms. Boone hears. “The additional shoreline gives the lake a new look with beaches.”
The Kentucky Department of Tourism, an agency of the Kentucky Commerce Cabinet, exists to promote The Commonwealth as a travel destination, generate revenue and create jobs for Kentucky’s economy.