Commonwealth Journal

Local News

June 3, 2014

Memorial Day draws 395,000 lake visitors

Somerset —

A normal Lake Cumberland is packing ‘em in.
Tom Hale, operations manager for the reservoir, estimates 390,500 visitors were in the five counties that border the lake during the recent 78-hour Memorial Day weekend. No specific county estimates are available, but Carolyn Mounce, executive director Somerset-Pulaski Convention and Visitors Bureau, suggests a third of the total number of lake visitors –– more than 130,000 –– were in Pulaski County during three-day holiday. That’s 50,000 or so above summer holidays of the recent past when the lake was low.
“Pulaski County usually has a third of the total lake visitors in the five counties bordering the lake,” Mounce said. Proof is in the puddin’, she claims.
“I was at Pulaski County Park on Sunday during Memorial Day weekend and “ ... you couldn’t stir ‘em with a stick,” Mounce said.
“Sunday afternoon –– that’s when you might think people would be leaving –– they were still there. “They were fishing, catching bass; they were swimming, jet skiing, standing waist deep in the water; they were sunbathing. Tents were everywhere,” said Mounce.
Visitors are here for the summer. A reporter at Pulaski County Park on Monday, a week after Memorial Day, noted unusually busy recreational activities for early in the week. Lots of people are still here, camping, fishing, swimming and boating.
Pulaski County Park, left high and dry for six years while the level of Lake Cumberland was low, is now in a water wonderland. It’s southern and eastern borders are wrapped in the  Fishing Creek arm of the lake.
Visitation during Memorial Day weekend increased 158,500 in the five lake counties compared to Memorial Day weekend in 2009, one of seven summers when Lake Cumberland was lower than normal to facilitate repairs to Wolf Creek Dam. Hale said all the Corps’ camping and day-use areas were “maxed out”  over the entire lake area.

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