With re-installation of the Tygart Lake marina expected by early May, operators are hoping to recover from a disastrous 2012.
Last July, the marina had to be pulled from the lake as drought conditions dropped the lake to record lows. It was a costly season in more than lost business.
“The docks received considerable damage into the tens of thousands of dollars in repairs,” said Tygart Lake State Park superintendent Brennon O’Sullivan. “The office and fuel facility had to be totally rebuilt. It’s going to look nice this year.”
Because Tygart Lake’s levels fluctuate drastically from winter to summer pool, it’s not possible to leave the docks through the winter. Their removal in July was costly to more than just the marina owner.
“It definitely hurt the state park visitation. It hurt the food service on the state park. It hurt local business including even Wal-Mart in town,” O’Sullivan said. “When the marina closed, we didn’t have as many visitors coming to town.”
Now that the lake level is back and the marina is going in, O’Sullivan said he’s optimistic the lake stays full throughout the season.
“It’s a new year and it looks very positive at this point,” he said. “Things are looking very nice in the forecast for occupancy and overnight stays.”
There is always too much of a good thing too. O’Sullivan said a wet spring with flooding could be just as detrimental as a drought. He’s hoping for a normal year of average rainfall.
“At this point, things look very nice,” he said. “The lake is up above summer pool at this time. The docks are about 80-percent installed and on track to open the second week of May.”