KEYSTONE LAKE, OK (KJRH) — It's the first holiday weekend of the year that lakeside businesses are getting to see crowds, after record flooding affected Memorial Day and Fourth of July. Everyone is trying to find ways to stretch out the end of summer, which could help business owners make back a good chunk of lost revenue.
Lori and Randy Long began the summer by parking on the street at Keystone Harbor marina, and being ferried to their boat. The flood waters were so high the ramps that usually take them down to the docks were several feet underwater.
"We've seen this lake up from time to time, but nothing ever like that." Randy said. "It was crazy. Fourth of July I've never seen so few boats on this lake."
Memorial day weekend was a wash, and Independence Day was the slowest the Longs have seen in 30 years on Keystone Lake.
Marina owner Ron Howell says in all, he estimates businesses lost six to eight weeks because of the flooding, including their two biggest holidays of the year. But as families flocked to the lake for the unofficial end of summer, business owners are looking ahead to the rest of the month.
"I think we're seeing it's going to be a lot longer season this year," Howell said. "This actually beat last year's Fourth of July. So it's been a very heroic recovery to the floods we all went through."
Howell says if that's the case, lakeside businesses could make up half of what they lost in the first half of the summer. Families like the Longs, looking to keep summer going as long as possible, will be the key.
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