Best Memorial Day weekend in years

Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Braving the water slide Democrat Photo/Melonie Roberts Jennifer Brown carefully supervised her children, Elizabeth, 3, and Zachary, 4, as they braved the water slide at the Cassville Aquatic Center on Tuesday. The two carefully navigated several of the interactive water attractions in the pool, finding them a delightful way to keep cool in the 90-degree heat. The Aquatic Center opened for business over Memorial Day weekend, seeing approximately 900 swimmers at the facility over the three-day holiday.

The 2012 Memorial Day weekend was one of the best three-day holiday weekends in years, according to area marina owners. Roaring River State Park also saw an increase in attendance this year.

"It was a very good weekend," said Gene Stimble, Campbell Point Marina owner. "The weather turned out great, and everybody came out to have a good time."

Lake traffic and business increased this year compared to Memorial Day weekends celebrated in the past few years.

"The lake level is pretty close to normal, so visitors had access to everything," said Stimble. "The campgrounds were full. The whole lake was busy."

Families who ventured out to Table Rock Lake over the weekend were courteous and happy to be outdoors, said Stimble.

"Everything went as smoothly as it can," said Stimble. "I think everyone watched the forecast and came out. Business was really good on Saturday and Sunday.

"I think it was probably a good weekend for the whole tourism area," added Stimble.

According to Darrell Tilford, Eagle Rock Marina owner, lake traffic also increased on the Eagle Rock side of Table Rock Lake.

"It was a very good weekend," said Tilford. "The campgrounds were all totally full and turning people away.

"Lots of times we have one real good day, but this year, all days were very good," said Tilford. "The people weren't too concerned about anything except having a good time."

Tilford said he didn't hear any complaints about gas prices or other issues during the holiday weekend.

"Everyone was courteous," said Tilford. "This was one of the better groups I remember in quite a while."

Although the lake level is not low, Tilford said he would like to see the level slightly higher considering the hot, dry weather Barry County has experienced so far this spring.

"The forecast shows that in the coming weeks we should start to get some rain and cooler temperatures, which would be good," said Tilford.

Campsites at Roaring River were full during the entire Memorial Day weekend, said Dusty Reid, park superintendent.

"It was a wonderful weekend at Roaring River State Park," said Reid. "The campgrounds and lodging facilities were all completely full. Day use attendance was up compared to last year. The pool was busy, and everybody had a great time."

The park store sold 3,375 trout tags during the Memorial Day weekend. The count was up nearly 7 percent when compared to the number of tags issued on 2011, which was 3,161. Tag sales were as follows: 539 on Friday; 1,026 on Saturday; 1,097 on Sunday; and 713 on Monday.

Area residents also enjoyed spending time swimming at the Cassville Aquatic Center during the three-day holiday weekend. The pool opened its 2012 swim season on Saturday.

"The weekend turned out very well," said Dove Haney, Cassville YMCA manager. "On opening day it was 95 degrees and the pool was packed. We had upward of around 400 people at the pool throughout the day."

Swimmers also flocked to the Aquatic Center on Sunday and Monday. Haney estimated that around 250 people visited the pool on each day.

"Everything went off without a glitch," said Haney. "It was a perfect opening with great weather. We couldn't have asked for more."

The Cassville YMCA is preparing for a busy 2012 swim season. Cassville Summer School students will visit the pool six times in June, and the Cassville First Baptist Church and YMCA summer day camps will also take field trips to the Aquatic Center this summer.

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