HOLLISTER, Mo. -- Plans are underway to revamp some coveted lakefront property on the edge of Hollister. It's a big piece of the tourism puzzle for a small town trying to reinvent itself.
The place where the cool waters of Lake Taneycomo intersect with Turkey Creek is a popular fishing and boating spot that up until now has been difficult to reach.
"Hollister does not have great public access to the water. This will provide that,” said City Administrator Rick Ziegenfuss.
The city bought a three-acre lakefront plot about a year ago. At that time, it was filled with mobile homes. It was a situation deemed unsafe for an area designated as a federal flood plain.
"Each time we've had a flood, we have had to do fast water rescues,” said Ziegenfuss. "We were able to relocate these people out of the flood plain and turn this into a legacy public project."
The area's propensity to flood is something that has really hurt the tourism industry in Hollister over the years, but some longtime businesses have managed to survive.
"It’s a little bit set apart; it’s off the beaten path,” said Cheryl Welta, manager of Ye Olde English Inn.
The century-old Ye Olde English Inn has been the anchor of downtown Hollister for years.
"It was opened in 1912 and was one of the first buildings ever built here,” said Weltha, "and the train depot was a huge part of that too."
Weltha says being just steps away from public shoreline will allow her business to hook even more hotel guests.
"I think it will be very beneficial," she said. "Anytime you can add access to Taneycomo, it’s going to draw more people."
A 1920s-era cottage on the city's new park property may or may not be salvageable. Still, the goal is to have fishing and picnic space ready for the busy summer season, with even more plans to come for this historic piece of property.The land flooded in both 2008 and 2011. Any plans that the city makes will take the possibility of future floods into account.