By Mike Harris
An entirely new water park for Lake Gregory, new lake equipment, a new food grill, entertainment packages and an hourly parking schedule are all part of the new management company’s plans for 2021 for Lake Gregory Regional Park.
“We took over responsibility for management of the lake on Monday, things like trash pickup, trail management and overall care,” Steve Garcia, corporate manager for the new Lake Gregory Community Recreation Co., told The Alpine Mountaineer on Tuesday.
“We have set up a timeline for getting things going and we have ordered the aquatic equipment, and we will be ready to open on Memorial Day weekend,” he added.
While management is waiting for the county to put money in the $1.5million capital improvement fund, Garcia said he and his team have been busy lining up contractors and suppliers for all the new equipment.
And all of the equipment and sports features will be new, since all of the old equipment was either sold for pennies on the dollar, given away or simply tossed in the trash by the old management company.
The centerpiece of the summer fun will be a seasonal water-based family entertainment center featuring a large water sports park with capacity of 120 to140 persons, a shallow water activity area, stand-up paddle board and kayak rentals, and a range of inflatable water sports components ranging from waterslides and a water trampoline to climbing and jumping decks and walkways.
The water park play equipment will be located in the North Shore beach swim area, unlike previous years where the old water park had to be located off the South Beach swim area because lake water levels had to be lowered so the new dam buttress could be constructed.
This year, there will be no such restriction.
The new North Shore water play area will include a kid’s water play area for children 7 years old and younger.
Additionally, the two existing water slides will be repaired and made operational.
Garcia said while it may take the county a month to fully fund the capital improvement fund, he has been working with water sports equipment suppliers to at least agree to place the orders for all the new equipment.
“We are waiting for the money so we can pay the suppliers,” he said. “But we expect to have the new equipment installed by April 24.”
Other steps being taken now include new lifeguard stations, office equipment, computers and other technologies, and developing a list of things that need to be repaired.
“Like the North Shore steps,” Garcia said, which lead from Lake Gregory Drive to the North Shore parking lot.
Garcia also revealed some of the new pricing plans for summer activities.
“Like parking,” he said. “We were able to work with the county so that parking at Lake Gregory will start at $2 for the first hour, then $1 an hour up to a maximum of $10, which is what the county charges at all its regional parks.”
Among other summer prices, for example, the fee will be $10 per person to enter the beach (“Which is mandated by the county,” he said), and $10 per person to enter the water park.
Management expects to have activity packages, such as a $25 day pass which would offer beach access, water park access, use of paddle boards and other boating options.
“We will be offering monthly membership,” he said, “That bundles packages, such as for parking, fishing beach access and use of all aquatic areas. We want to add value for the public.”
A complete list of pricing and activity packages will soon be available for the public to see at the new lake website, www.lakegregory.com.
Garcia said repair work and maintenance will soon begin at the San Moritz Lodge as well.
“The San Moritz Lodge is basically in good shape,” he said.
His team of architects and contractors has looked at the structure of the lodge and found much of it sound.
“The real crossbeams that are inside the building are intact and in good shape,” he said.
What will need replacing are about 10 to 12 log beams that basically are there for the cosmetic look of the interior main room.
“I’m working with a contractor who builds log homes, and he will be providing those beams for us,” he said.
The old Cove Café in the North Beach area will be renamed the North Shore Grill and all new kitchen equipment has been ordered.
Until the county funds the capital improvement fund, the public will see mostly routine maintenance work, he added.
“We will not forget that we are part of this community,” Garcia added.