Archive for Friday, July 2, 2010

Holiday weekend could bring 50,000 people to Clinton Lake

Boat traffic moves on Clinton Lake Wednesday, June 30. The long Fourth of July weekend should boost the local economy with campers and boaters converging on the lake.

Boat traffic moves on Clinton Lake Wednesday, June 30. The long Fourth of July weekend should boost the local economy with campers and boaters converging on the lake.

July 2, 2010

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Lake traffic expected to be high this holiday weekend

The beaches around Clinton Lake will be closed this weekend because of high water, but officials expect camp sites to be full and the water to be busy. Enlarge video

Weekend updates

Road construction

The road leading to Bloomington Beach at Clinton Lake reopened Thursday. Road construction at the Bloomington swimming beach parking lot and entrance road are complete.

Lake Perry update

• Several roads will be barricaded because of flooding.

• Ninety of the 500 campsites are closed.

• Two of the eight boat ramps will be closed for the weekend.

• Beaches will be closed for the weekend.

• Visitors should be aware and look out for debris in the water.

The Fourth of July is a busy time at Clinton Lake, but not the busiest.

The Fourth of July weekend activity is actually behind Labor Day and Memorial Day.

Even so, an expected 50,000 visitors gives enough boost in business to keep park staff on its toes.

For John and Kay Simms of Lee’s Summit, Mo., it’s their first time camping at Clinton Lake. The couple said they chose to camp during the week instead of the weekend to avoid the rush and be able to go home to enjoy fireworks. The couple was enjoying some quiet time.

“No. 1, we’re not answering the phone all the time,” Kay said. “I love cooking outdoors — you don’t mess up your kitchen and it’s so peaceful being outdoors.”

Dave Rhoades, park manager with Army Corps of Engineers at Clinton Lake, expects all of the approximate 400 campsites to be full by the weekend. In fact, two-thirds of the sites were already reserved mid-way through last week. Water levels and weather conditions could determine reservation plans for some lake-goers.

“Hot and humid weather is probably the main reason why there are not as many people as other weekends, but we are still very busy,” Rhoades said.

Rhoades also said that although the water is high right now and some flooding has occurred, it is not a factor that will deter visitors. The water level is expected to stay high — just over 881 feet above sea level — for the weekend, and return to a normal 876 feet later this month.

Rhoades said campers actually like the higher water because it is closer to the campsites. However, for visitors wanting to lie on the beach, they will only have about half as much space. Rhoades said Bloomington Beach has been unusable for the past week, but that the part that is available should be open for the weekend.

However, the Clinton State Park Beach did not recover as well. Jerry Schecher, Clinton State Park manager, said the beach is completely underwater and will be closed for the weekend. Even with no beach Schecher said he expects the 500 campsites and six park shelters to be full this weekend.

“Everybody wants to be either in the water or on the water,” he said.

Because of water levels, several lake boat ramps will be unusable, but riders can still get in from the shoreline. The extra trouble will not inconvenience those with boats already in the water.

Megan Hiebert, owner of Clinton Marina, said the marina has close to 400 boat storage slips, which will create a lot of traffic throughout the weekend.

Kim Haig and her husband have kept their boat at the marina for 10 years. She said the family plans to spend the weekend at the lake.

“We’re huge water fans,” she said, “so we love being on the water and playing in the sun.”

Comments

The_Original_Bob 5 years ago

I was of the understanding that Clinton Lake could only hold 15,000.

/Yeah, yeah. Beating a dead horse. //Yeah, yeah. I know Waka was only in part of the park.

grammaddy 5 years ago

When I saw that big number I thought Wakafest was back.

sherbert 5 years ago

50,000? that's 1/2 the population of Lawrence.

wmathews 5 years ago

Usually in cases like this, the number refers to the total amount of people over the entire weekend. Not at one time. So 50,000 people in and out of the area over the course of a few days.

ksjhawk503 5 years ago

Why does the Web editor feel the need to comment on every story?

wmathews 5 years ago

When a user has a question or there is part of a story that needs clarifying, we often respond in the comments. That is why you'll see both Jonathan and myself leaving comments from time to time.

matahari 5 years ago

oh boy, at least we know where all the nascar folks are hangin this end! drink 'em up boys...wonder what a ticket for drinken n boatin is these days?

dataman43 5 years ago

after just getting back from Clinton Lake, in the State Park side, perhaps 20% of the camping spots are being used. At the Federal Park side (Bloomington) maybe 30-35% of the camping spots are being used! What happened to all the campers as stated in the article?????

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