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Oklahoma lakes see increase in visitors impacting local marinas

Hi-Lift Marina 4th of July
Posted at 10:13 PM, Jul 06, 2024

GRAND LAKE, Okla. — Oklahoma lakes are the place for cooling off and recreational fun during the 4th of July holiday weekend.

Boating requires gas and snacks, which are why marinas are needed. 2 News went to Hi-Lift Marina at Grand Lake to see how they prepared for the many visitors.

"Thursday (July 4) was probably one of the biggest days we’ve seen in probably many many years. It’s probably double what we saw in what we’ve seen in the last year," said Hi-Lift Marina and Boat Sales Owner Kevin McClure.

The marina was packed with people coming and going as they refueled their boats and bodies.

It was something the staff was prepared for.

"Man, it’s just been incredible. It’s been a phenomenal amount of people coming to the lake," McClure said.

He said the number of people this year outdid their predictions. That brought some stress as they waited for a shipment of ice to arrive.

"We hope that our vendors can keep bringing us gas and ice and everything like that. It’s been a struggle, but we’ve maintained having enough fuel. And I think ice has been the biggest thing cause it’s so hot," said McClure.

Briley Shelley is a new employee at the marina. She said that the people kept her busy. However, that was her favorite part.

"Meeting the people and having different conversations with different people," said Shelley.

It’s not only the employees that were enjoying the weekend. Families of all ages stopped by to get ice cream and drinks.

2 News tried to speak with two kids but they had their mouths full of ice cream.

McClure said running out of stuff is sometimes a good problem to have.

He said he uses previous years to estimate how much to buy, but with the increase in visitors, all bets were lost.

"We probably missed it a little bit this year because we didn’t expect this big a crowd but we’re thankful," said McClure.

He knows the weekends are not over and hopes everyone is safe.

"Just be careful out there. You know there are a lot of boats out there and we just want everyone to be safe and have a great time and build memories," said McClure.

He hopes that the momentum continues next year and for years to come.

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