Lakers practice social distancing on Table Rock as marinas reopen with safety measures
Loosened stay-at-home orders are coming at a good time for businesses on Table Rock Lake. Many are opening their doors just as the weather starts to get warmer.
However, at State Park Marina, reopening comes with more safety measures, like sanitation.
"Gave us the opportunity to really tweak our system and make it a better experience for everybody," Park Marina General Manager Mitch Schupp said.
Schupp says they're back open to the public, after closing in March due to COVID-19.
"We may have missed Spring Break in April, but we aren't late to the game," Schupp said.
Schupp's crew is looking for a strong start to summer. Still, things will be different. Management is making changes to keep guests and staff safe and give-them-peace of mind.
"After [crews] clean the boats, they will be basically fogging the whole boat with a sensitization system," Schupp said.
State Park Marina's increased safety measures not only include more cleaning, but also require masks for staff. Plus, there is now a one family per boat, per day policy. Groups also now go straight to their rental with on-deck registration instead of signing-up inside the store.
"Who wants to wait in line anyway? Might as well take your family right to your boat, jump on your boat and go," Schupp said.
Already this spring, people with personal boats haven't been waiting to get on the lake.
"Every sunny day, there have been people going out on the lake to recreate," Army Corps of Engineers Natural Resources Specialist Ryan Braaten said.
Braaten says while the Dewey Short Visitors Center and Army Corps of Engineers-owned campgrounds are closed, boat ramps have remained open and busy.
"Being out on the lake is a great way to social distance," Braaten said.
With 750 miles of shoreline, the Corps asks people to use that vast space during their entire visit, especially in areas where their could be crowds.
"Try to spread out at the launches and the use of the ramps," Braaten said.
So, they say, as lake season really ramps up, sanitization and space will help families dive-in to a fun and safe summer.
"Escape the indoors and connect with the lake," Braaten said.
"Life is good at the lake. We are going to keep doing what we do and get out there and have fun," Schupp said.
State Park Marina is open and boat rentals are available. Other marinas are now open, as well.
The Army Corps of Engineers hasn't decided yet when to open its campgrounds or day use areas like Moonshine Beach.