Commonwealth Journal

Local News

May 24, 2007

Optimism abounds for holiday despite lower lake level

The official visitation forecast by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the Memorial Day weekend is down somewhat because of the lower lake level, but optimistic Pulaski countians are getting ready for a big crowd during the first holiday of summer.

This is also the first holiday period since the 1970s that the level of Lake Cumberland is drastically lower than normal summer pool. The lake is being maintained 43 feet below the tree line to ease pressure on troubled Wolf Creek Dam. Leaks in the dam also resulted in a lower lake level for a short period during the 1970s.

A Corps spokeswoman said 195,000 visitors are expected in the 10-county Lake Cumberland area this coming weekend. The total is about 48,000 less, or some 20 percent fewer than the same holiday last year.

However, despite the low lake level, optimism abounds. Carolyn Mounce, executive director of Somerset-Pulaski Convention and Visitors Bureau, said she was in the process at midweek of checking motel reservations, and initial reports are encouraging.

“Some motels are fully booked (for the weekend) and some have rooms left,” Mounce said at noon Wednesday. There are about 1,100 motel rooms and places to stay overnight in Pulaski County.

One thing is for certain, visitors will be welcomed, Mounce assured. She said the Bureau will have an open house at the Visitors’ Center off Ogden Street between 7 and 10 p.m. Friday.

“We’ll have a live band and the festivities will be broadcast over Clear Channel’s five local radio stations,” she said. Somerset Rotary Club members will be frying hot dogs and hamburgers supplied by the Bureau and Pepsi has donated soft drinks, she said.

“This is also Somernites Cruise weekend,” reminded Mounce. She said there will be activities at Mill Springs Battlefield and a veterans’ program to attract visitors.

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