A big boom for area business
The extended holiday weekend following Independence Day appears to have been successful for area businesses that thrive during the tourism season. With individuals taking advantage of a four-day weekend, many lake area businesses saw an increase in traffic in comparison to last year's July Fourth holiday.
Darrel Tilford, owner of Eagle Rock Marina, said that the holiday weekend was one of the better weekends the marina has had.
"We had a real good group of people, and we had a lot of fun," Tilford said. "They had the fireworks here, and people seemed to like it."
Roaring River State Park also saw an increase in numbers, according to Kerry Hays, assistant park superintendent. Hays said the campgrounds were almost at capacity on July 3 and 4, and full on the 5 and 6.
"It was an unusual week attendance wise. With the holiday in the middle of the week, people started showing up earlier in the week than normal," Hays said.
Lucas Kill, restaurant manager for Dock N Eat Café, at Big M Marina also noticed an increase in traffic at both the restaurant and marina. Kill explained that both facilities were well staffed and prepared for the weekend, which allowed them to handle the larger numbers of customers.
"We saw over 1,000 patrons over the weekend in the Dock N Eat Café, and in one day alone, they had over 700 people on the marina side," Kill said.
Kill explained that after the recent flooding and drought, he was happy to see an increase in lake traffic and people returning to the lake.
Despite high attendance numbers for the holiday weekend, there were no major issues reported over the holiday weekend. Barry County Sheriff Mick Epperly said his office had minimal calls, and he was aware of only major incident.
"I had my officers doing extra patrols around the low water bridge out on Y highway, Jenkins bridge and of course Table Rock just to deter problems," Epperly said.
According to Epperly, officers responded to a fight between two individuals where a knife was involved at the Eagle Rock Campground on July 4. The individual fled into the woods before officers arrived and was later found and arrested without incident.
Another incident occurred at the Eagle Rock Campground on July 5 before the fireworks display took place. Epperly said a man was cursing at individuals and being rude. When sheriff's deputies checked him for warrants, the individual had a felony warrant from Jefferson City.
"Overall for as lengthy as the holiday was, it was pretty smooth," Epperly said.
The Missouri State Water Patrol reported one boating accident on the Barry County portion of Table Rock Lake over the holiday weekend. The incident occurred July 6 when a boat driven by Patrick Davidson, 52, of Shell Knob, ran aground on an island one mile south of the Shell Knob Bridge. Davidson received minor injuries and drove himself to Mercy Hospital in Cassville.
Jeffery Ely, 27, of Wichita, Kan., suffered serious injury and was transported by ambulance to Mercy Hospital in Cassville. Three other occupants of the boat from Wichita, Kan., were also transported to Mercy Hospital. Suffering moderate injuries were Amanda Johnson, 27, and Andrew Yeager, 28, with David Johnson, 30, receiving minor injuries.
Trooper Andrew Ward, with the Missouri State Highway Patrol responded to the boating accident and was assisted by Corporal John Lueckenhoff and the Central Crossing Fire Department in Shell Knob.