Grand Lake Struggles To Bounce Back From Algae Scare

Sunday, July 17th 2011, 4:57 pm

By: News On 6

Emily Baucum, News On 6

GRAND LAKE, Oklahoma -- You wouldn't think during the dog days of summer Grand Lake would be a ghost town. A warning against swimming, though, caused a dismal 4th of July weekend.

06/27/2011 Related Story: GRDA Issues Blue Green Algae Warning On Grand Lake

Now that the swim ban's been lifted lake traffic's picked up, but not as fast as marina owners would like.

Not even a health scare kept a family from Edmond away from their getaway.

"I was a little nervous about getting in the water but you either had to stay in the house in the air conditioning or get in the water," Gloria Hulva, lakegoer, said.

Most families chose the AC during over the 4th of July. At Indian Hills Resort And Marina -- crucial holiday business was down a jaw dropping 78 percent.

"Yeah it was kind of eerie. It was almost like a ghost town," Hulva said.

Since the Fourth of July weekend business at this marina has rebounded but it's still half of what it was last summer. That's going to have larger effects on the Grand Lake economy.

"Well we started out with 41 inches of snow up here. And then we had the tornadoes, the high winds, the high water," said David Hunter of Indian Hills Resort & Marina.

Blue-green algae was the triple whammy no marina owner wanted.

"We were on track for a record year until then. We'd survived all the others. And the Fourth of July just put a halt to it," Hunter said.

Two weeks later, the water's safe for swimming.

"They wouldn't lift it if they didn't feel like it was appropriate," Hulva said.

But the marina's still easing fears -- and not only about what's in the water.

"It's clearer now than it's been all year," Hunter said.

Hunter says he's also reassuring employees -- they'll still have jobs.

"They've asked that question and I've assured them we're going to stay with it. We'll make it through," he said.

Loyal customers like the Hulvas say now's the time to stay the course.

"But the lake, it bounces back. And the people bounce back. If you love the lake, you love the lake, no matter what it is," she said.



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