‘It’s a tremendous amount of work, but it’s all going to be worth it’: Businesses prep for busy season as Boone Lake waters rise

Restoring Boone Lake

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Boone Lake is coming back, and the businesses on its shores are ready and eager, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.

Business owners are preparing on land and on water, indoors and out, for a season they expect to be very busy. Cindy Light at Jay’s Boat Dock said as long she’s worked on the lake, she’s never seen the water at full pool.

“Everyone’s so excited; there’s a lot of people that have never seen the lake full,” said Light. “Everybody’s wanting a slip, and I think every marina is booked and with a long waiting list.”

But Light said they need to do a lot of preparation.

“We’re doing a lot of revamping of the docks and just the grounds to try to make things more appealing. It’s a tremendous amount of work, but it’s all going to be worth it,” Light said.

Over at Boone Lake Marina, similar excitement can be found. Burl Williams is the Service Manager at the marina.

“Definitely coming up is going to be a sight for sore eyes, I guess you could say,” Williams said. “We’re looking forward to it for sure.”

Williams said they are busy getting their marina ready.

“We had to bring the docks in a couple hundred feet from where they were out so that we’d have water when it was down. As well as just trying to built a new bulkhead, so we’d be ready when the water was full to put the boats in and out,” Williams said.

People are eager to get on the water, whether it’s buying a new boat or getting their old one ready.

“As far as slips go, slip rentals, as far as boat sales, jet ski sales, all that type of stuff has been very, very busy this year for sure,” said Williams. “Talking to people about and planning as far as when they’ll want their boats and that type of stuff.”

Johnny Morris who owns Davis Marina and Boonie’s Restaurant has preparations for both the marina and restaurant.

“We have a lot going on, we’re building a new smoker, we built new docks,” Morris said. “Just trying to get everything ready for the busy season hopefully this year.”

Morris said he’s also getting a lot of calls from people eager to get back out to the lake.

“We do rent slips, we’ve got a ton of calls on that, people wanting to move back from South Holston to here,” Morris said. “Everybody’s wanting to know what’s going on with the water, when’s the water going to be full.”

Morris plans to continue having live music at Boonie’s every Saturday. He hopes the excitement will actually result in more business.

“You know, hopefully when the water comes back, it’ll be busier than we’ve ever seen it,” Morris said.

Most of all, the businesses really want to guarantee the customers enjoy their time, whether it’s in or around the water.

“We’re here to have fun and we want everyone to have a great experience this summer,” said Lance Robinson, a server at Nick’s Family Restaurant.

All of the marinas and restaurants said they will need more hands on deck to meet the demand.

“I mean it’s good and bad I think with us, just for the simple fact of trying to get enough staff to keep everything rolling,” said Morris.

“We’re definitely probably going to need more people, we’re always looking for people,” said Robinson.

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