Buckeye Lake Region Hospitality Plan Identifies Opportunities for New Accommodation Sites

 JULY 29, 2020, BUCKEYE LAKE, OH – The Buckeye Lake Region Corporation is pleased to announce the finalization and availability of the “Buckeye Lake Region Hospitality Plan”. The plan, completed by renowned landscape architecture, urban design and planning firm MKSK, identifies realistic expectations and opportunity sites for the delivery of new accommodations throughout the Buckeye Lake Region. The study was made possible through in-kind donations and fundraising efforts on behalf of the Buckeye Lake Region Community Foundation.

“The purpose of the Buckeye Lake Region Hospitality Plan was to identify opportunities in and around Buckeye Lake for a diverse variety of hotel and lodging hospitality options,” said Mike Fornataro, Executive Director, Buckeye Lake Region Corporation. “We are extremely pleased with the vision outlined in the completed plan which builds upon leveraging the rich cultural and natural assets in the Region, while also recognizing certain barriers to development that exist in the area.”

Buckeye Lake Region Hospitality Plan: Highlights and Key Points

When compiling the study, MKSK completed a comprehensive market analysis of the Buckeye Lake Region in order to assess current market conditions, barriers and realistic opportunities in order to support a broader vision for Buckeye Lake that can “unlock a more diversified range of investment opportunities”.

 This market analysis resulted in the following strategic recommendations:

  • Build Around the Place: Leverage community and sense of place to create an “authentic” experience.
  • Create the Amenity/Destination: Broaden the experience by creating a new destination and amenities attractive to both daytrip and overnight visitors (e.g. Crystal lake, pier, hotel, boardwalk).
  • Leverage Housing Market: Recent development indicates healthy market conditions for certain sub-markets around Buckeye Lake.
  • Differentiate the Lake Experience: Offer a distinctive experience beyond just boating activities and casual lakeside dining.
  • Enhance Marketing Efforts: Expand marketing efforts to better position it as an easily accessible weekend destination for residents of the Columbus region.

Also included in the Hospitality Plan is a thorough opportunity site evaluation. This evaluation considered findings from the market analysis, including supply and hospitality trends, as well as qualitative attributes of each location, including accessibility, visibility, marketability, and relative context within the Buckeye Lake market.

The opportunity site evaluation reviewed current feasibility, challenges, criteria to implement, phasing and impact of seven opportunity site types:

  1. Resort/conference center
  2. State park lodge
  3. Highway orientated hotel
  4. Inn
  5. Ecolodge
  6. Hotel/boardwalk
  7. Cottage


This evaluation concluded that an incremental investment approach would present the highest feasibility (and lowest risk), since it could “test” the market with new products, while aligning other strategic efforts to improve market conditions.

Opportunity Sites Identified

A critical part of the Hospitality Plan includes the identification and evaluation of a series of opportunity sites and typology options around Buckeye Lake and the Region. These sites vary in size and schemes and present a broad range of opportunities that would support the area while “capturing the local character and elevating Buckeye Lake’s competitive position”.

More Information and Media Inquiries

To access the full version of the “Buckeye Lake Region Hospitality Plan” visit blrc2036.org. If you would like more information and/or have questions or media inquiries about the study, please contact Mike Fornataro, Buckeye Lake Region Corporation Executive Director via email at MFornataro@buckeyelake2030.com.

About the Buckeye Lake Region Corporation

The Buckeye Lake Region Corporation was officially formed in September 2017. The BLRC is a tri-county alliance between Licking, Perry and Fairfield counties and is open to all political and civic entities in the tri-county region. Its mission is to coordinate, manage and execute initiatives that support the Buckeye Lake 2036 Vision and the Buckeye Lake Region Declaration. For more information about the Buckeye Lake Region Corporation, visit blrc2036.org or follow us on Facebook @buckeyelake2036.

Click here to download a copy of the press release:

BLRC Hospitality Study_PR_7.17.20