Nathan Arnold | Guest Columnist | Newark Advocate

The village of Buckeye Lake is undergoing major renovations to the Buckeye Lake dam project. The goal is to put this beautiful village, park and reservoir back on the map and foster economic growth in the area. With the Buckeye Lake 2030 initiative, massive changes are occurring to develop the village into a great location to live, work and visit.

Known for the dazzling reservoir and park that encompasses the southern part of Licking County, the village has recently enhanced infrastructure that’s crucial to area residents’ safety and well being. Improvements include adding a state-of-the-art public water system, newly paved streets and sidewalks and a redesigned storm water system to better accommodate the reservoir. The estimated $110-million renovation restores the lake to its the normal six-foot summer depth and once again makes it possible for boats to return to the popular lake, ensuring economic viability of area restaurants, bars and other businesses.

So, what does that mean for young professionals? All of these changes offer young entrepreneurs opportunity to launch and build businesses. They enhance local quality of life and offer outstanding recreation and tourism opportunities. Improved quality of life helps retain great young, local talent. With the Buckeye Lake dam project construction wrapping up almost a year ahead of schedule, boaters and other visitors – along with their much-needed spending — will be able to return to the businesses that flank Ohio’s first state park that much sooner.

The influx of more tourists coming to enjoy the nature located just an hour from Columbus will create demand for new hotels, restaurants and shops. These developments give young professionals even more opportunity for start-ups and job growth.

With these improvements, Buckeye Lake will become a great place for young professionals to live and work. New employment opportunities are attractive to young professionals. And a thriving community with a wealth of outdoor and leisure offerings holds even greater appeal to our region’s future leaders. Many of today’s 21-to-40-year-olds cite these quality-of-life features as key to their happiness and to the desirability of a community. Thus, the development at Buckeye Lake offers young professionals affordable and healthy living, career advancement and an opportunity to be part of something big.

Young Leaders of Licking County (YLLC) will be keeping a close eye on what’s happening at Buckeye Lake, looking for opportunities to become involved in the growth of our community. Young professionals, age 21 to 40, living or working in Licking County are encouraged to learn more about how Young Leaders of Licking County uses leadership, creative arts and culture, networking and community development and philanthropy to foster our next generation of leaders. The group is active on Facebook and Twitter or can be contacted at

Nathan Arnold is marketing manager for Utica-based Velvet Ice Cream and a founding board member of Young Leaders of Licking County. Arnold is a regular contributor to the Business Advocate, writing a monthly column that highlights young leaders in the Licking County business community.