The Pueblo West View

Lake shows hike in visits

A boater gets a kayak ready to explore Boggs Creek at Lake Pueblo State Park reservoir. The lake has experienced more visitors this summer than previous years, reports show. (Christine Ina Casillas, View photo)
A boater gets a kayak ready to explore Boggs Creek at Lake Pueblo State Park reservoir. The lake has experienced more visitors this summer than previous years, reports show. (Christine Ina Casillas, View photo)

Plenty of people have been visiting Lake Pueblo State Park and patronizing local businesses too – preliminary numbers and general observations show an increase of visitors to the lake this summer.

In fact, based on traffic counters, visitation to the park in June was up 70 percent over the same time in 2013.

“If you can believe that!” said Operations Manager Brian Kerrigan.

“We don’t really know what that’s attributed to … but it’s good.”

Kerrigan said hard numbers aren’t yet available for July, when there were more storms in the area, but he said the Park seems to have been busy all summer long.

“Rain seriously affects a lot of the day-to-day use visitation for boating and fishing – for obvious reasons,” he said.

“But for camping, again in June we were up almost 25 percent from last year.”

Over at Rocky Mountain Boat Company in Pueblo West, owner and President Larry Ohrdorf said business has been good this year for them as well.

“The lake has maintained the same level all summer, and has been fairly high, so that’s good,” he said.

“We’ve seen some increase this summer, maybe about a four-percent growth. But we’re still not where we saw things six and a half years ago.”

Ohrdorf said he believes that people have gotten used to the higher gas prices and feel the economy is a little more stable, so they’re beginning to participate in more again.”

At Rocky Mountain Boat Company, between 80 and 90 percent of the business comes from out of town customers. That’s everything from a part or a lifejacket to service or even a brand new boat.

At the lake, Kerrigan said visitors to the Park – both local and out of towners – seem to have really had a good time this summer.

He said numbers tend to stay strong through Labor Day, which serves as the unofficial “last hurrah” before things quiet down around the lake.

“We’ve had a lot of enthusiastic folks coming in and out,” Kerrigan said.

“And we’ve gotten a lot of positive comments about general improvements that we’ve been doing, infrastructure upgrades and all of that.”

Kerrigan noted that within the next year more improvements are coming, including more repaving on Juniper Road, that travels through the park, and updated comfort stations in the campgrounds.

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