Low lake levels caused boating sales and service to go into sharp decline during the dry, hot summer months.
From STAN JOHNSON @ Citizen Tribune:
The low levels of area lakes due to extended drought has taken a serious toll on boat businesses.
Ed Teague, sales and service manager at Linda’s Lakeside Marine on Highway 25E in Bean Station, says the drought has reduced boating and all boat related businesses on Cherokee and Douglas lakes are feeling it. Sales and service at Linda’s Lakeside Marine are off about 33 percent compared to 2006. It’s about the same at all area boating business, according to Teague. […]
At least Linda’s Lakeside Marine is still able to operate, even if it is on a limited basis. Dorothy and Ken Ankiewicz, who own Indian Creek Boat Dock on Douglas Lake in Dandridge has not been so fortunate.
“It closed us down Aug. 11. We’d just bought 1,000 gallons of gasoline, and one day the lake dropped a foot, then the next day another foot, and it kept dropping” Dorothy said.
The couple just bought the business at the end of May of this year, and at first all was going great. Then the rains failed to come. […]
Ken Sexton, general manager at White Pine Marine Sales and Service, said business is down at least 20 percent, especially boat sales.
“People don’t want to buy a boat if they can’t get to a dock or ramp,” he said.
He said the level of Douglas Lake dropped so fast that many people were left with their boats sitting in the mud, and some will have to remain there until the water level comes back up.
Both Teague and Sexton said boats stranded until the water rises can suffer from exposure over the winter months. [….]
People who depend on the lakes for business are all saying the same thing.
“It’s really hurt us,” is the common refrain.