By CLINT FOSTER
It’s no secret that Palo Pinto County, and much of Texas, is suffering through part of a long-term drought this summer. As a result, many area lakes, including Possum Kingdom Lake, are facing the residual affects of low-lake levels.
But the Possum Kingdom Chamber of Commerce is doing everything it can through its new tourism budget to help ensure that the lake is still sufficiently promoted and attended.
At Monday’s Palo Pinto County Commissioners Court meeting, Possum Kingdom Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Gayla Chambers presented her proposed tourism budget for the 2014 fiscal year. In an effort to pinch pennies, her new budget – which was approved by commissioners – is $6,000 less than the previous one, partially because, as Chambers said, she is expecting less tax revenue from the areas’ hotels and motels than in past years.
However, even with a smaller budget, the PK Chamber is not going to back down from encouraging lake tourism. Chambers told the Index that despite the total budget decreasing, she plans to significantly increase the percentage of the budget devoted to advertising and promoting the lake across mediums of newspaper publications, television and radio.
“Given times like these, it is even more important for us to make people understand that there is still water in this lake,” she said. “There are boat ramps still open, the lodges are still here, our restaurants are open, our hiking trails are beautiful. There are activities and things for people to do.”
Although there is certainly still water in the lake, there is no question that PK Lake is dryer than folks are used to. Brazos River Authority Public Information Officer Judi Pierce said the recent drought has caused “literally the worst amount of inflows we’ve ever seen in recorded history” into PK Lake.