Memorial Day Weekend— Summer Season Off To Jam Packed Start

Anita Campbell
County Reporter
Perfect weather during the Memorial Day weekend brought thousands of visitors as well as business to lake area merchants.
According to Erin Cordrey of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; at the Truman Overlook  almost two thousand visitors passed through the doors at the Visitor’s Center over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.  Saturday was the busiest day with 700 visitors.
Business was booming at Sterett Creek Marina according to owner and manager Ken Beyer.  “This was by far the busiest Memorial Day weekend we have ever had in the five years we have been here,” said Beyer.  “It just goes to show if the weather is good then the people will come.”
Beyer reported that all his boats were rented for the three day weekend and all the slips were full.
“We have added 60 additional slips with another dock and those rented right away,” Beyer said.
Sterett Creek has extra finger slips for campers or people just pulling up to go to the Drunken Minnow or Papa Joe’s Restaurant.
 Sterett Creek also offers a Guest House for visitors to rent that offers 4 beds and 2 baths.  “The Guest House has been rented every weekend since we opened for summer,” said Beyer.
Beyer reported that everyone seemed to be having a good time.  “I spent the weekend working in the Drunken Minnow so I didn’t get to visit with our customers as much as I like to,” Beyer said.  “We need more help.”
Sterett Creek Motel will be opening their pool soon.  “We are very family oriented so we wanted to offer more for families,” Beyer said.
Jason Reynolds at Osage Bluff Marina reported a great weekend with the Osage Bluff Motel full as well as all the boat slips.
“We were very busy from Friday through Monday,” Reynolds said.  “Fishermen went out early in the morning and then by noon all the families were on the water having fun.”
Reynolds reported that people who were fishing were bringing in white bass and crappie.  “The weather was hot, but the water was clear,” Reynolds said.
Osage Bluff will host their annual fireworks display on July 7 and are expecting a huge crowd.
“With the Fourth landing on a Wednesday, we expect two big weekends,” Reyolds said.  “Many of our visitors will probably take their vacations during those two big weekends because they get an extra day off.”
The Fourth of July fireworks display on Truman will be held on June 30.
Brad Steenburgen at Truman Marina reported one of the best Memorial Day weekends ever. 
Steenburgen said most of his boat slips were rented for the season.  “We keep a few for overnight guests but we are pretty full.”
As the summer season begins, Steenburgen is very optimistic about having a successful season.
At Beth’s Osage Mini-Mart, traffic was heavy.  “The weekend really started on Thursday,” Beth reported.  “We sold 34,000 minnows over the weekend, so there were a lot of people down here fishing.”
While gas prices have gone up, Beth reported that “Gas is cheaper here than any place in the state, $2.60 per gallon.”
Beth is optimistic about the summer because more people want to vacation closer to home.
Wyatt Bullock, manager at Long Shoal Marina, reported a record Memorial Day weekend.
“We were busy from Thursday through Monday,” Bullock reported.  “We sold over 4,000 gallons of gasoline over the holiday weekend.”
Many of the visitors to Long Shoal also dined at the Long Shoal Restaurant.  Hours for the restaurant are 7 am until 3 pm, Monday through Thursday and then 7 am until 9 pm on Friday and Saturday.  Sunday hours are 7 am until 5 pm.
Long Shoal will be hosting many fishing tournaments throughout the summer. In October they will host the Fishing For Freedom Tournament to help veterans get out on the water for fishing.
“Looks like a great summer,” Bullock said.
All of the marina managers mentioned that they still had job openings available for those looking for summer work.