Crowds Return to Area After Dam Project, COVID Slowed Tourism

Recently, the Lancaster Eagle Gazette Published a three-part series on the Buckeye Lake Region. The second article explores how the Region and the lake have flourished in the wake of the dam project and post-pandemic restrictions. Read the full text below or click this link to access:

Life on Buckeye Lake in 2021 back to normal after dam project, COVID (lancastereaglegazette.com)

Crowds returning to area after dam project, COVID pandemic slowed tourism

Lancaster Eagle-Gazette | USA TODAY NETWORK| November 7, 2021

Don’t try and tell the people of the Buckeye Lake region that it isn’t a thriving community.

Thousands of people used to flock to the area to spend the day at the amusement park. And while the leaders of today look to the future and how to make improvements around the lake to boost tourism and the economy, present-day Buckeye Lake is full of life.

The Buckeye Lake region sits in the confluence of three counties — Licking, Fairfield and Perry.

The region features not just the village of Buckeye Lake but stretches out to areas including Millersport and Thornport.

It was a region that was struck a blow in tourism in 2015 when a major dam project from the state began. Residents who lived on the lake had to see their long-time docks torn out as the project sought to repair deficiencies in the dam that had been going on for years. Businesses felt the sting of fewer tourism dollars coming in.

While the project was completed in 2018 and the lake began to come back to life, the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent state shutdown was yet another obstacle.

But throughout this year, the lake has again seen crowds of people return.

From boat parades to fireworks for the Fourth of July, there are signs of rebirth and Americana throughout the region.

Just recently, officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Brooks Park Wetland Creation and Water Quality Initiative on Murphy’s Run. The area used to be a parking lot, but with resources from the state, it was able to be reclaimed as wetlands.

The area has seen new businesses this year such as Millersport Coffee and a Goodwill store. They join staples of the community like The Buckeye Lake Yacht Club which was first established in April 1906. Even a local school — Millersport High

School — has seen the revival of its football program, which had sat dormant for four years due to a lack of interest.

Whether it’s taking a boat out for a sail, fishing, catching a bite at a local

favorite like Hometown Hot Dogs or just enjoying a lazy summer day, the Buckeye Lake of today may not look like the one of the past, but it continues to thrive.