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MARINA SERVICES TO CLOSE AT ECHO BAY FEB 1

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Date: January 3, 2013

National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior

LAKE MEAD NATIONAL RECREATION AREA News Release
For Immediate Release: January 3, 2013
Release No.: 2013-01
Contact: Christie Vanover 702-283-2344

MARINA SERVICES TO CLOSE AT ECHO BAY FEB 1

BOULDER CITY, NEV. - Lake Mead National Recreation Area's Echo Bay Marina will close and water-based commercial services will discontinue Feb. 1 because no bids were received for the 10-year contract advertised by the National Park Service.

"The current concessioner was not interested in continuing full operations at Echo Bay, but even if they were, the park has no legal authority to extend the temporary contract under which they operated," said Bill Dickinson, park superintendent. "The National Park Service issued a prospectus for a new Echo Bay contract Oct. 31, and while some expressed interest, no one submitted a proposal."

For the past three years, Echo Bay services have been provided by Forever Resorts under a temporary contract that expires Jan. 31. Services include a 365-slip marina, fuel dock, small boat rental, motel, restaurant, retail, land based fuel, dry boat storage, administration, maintenance and small boat repair, long-term trailer village and an RV park.

The motel and restaurant were closed in 2010 at the request of the concessioner because of facility and economic conditions.

"It is unfortunate that no one submitted a proposal," said Dickinson. "Our long-term plan is to maintain visitor access and commercial services on the Overton Arm.

"We have invested millions of dollars to improve the northern area of the park because we are committed to ensuring our visitors who access Lake Mead within the Overton Arm have a quality experience," he said.

Although the park isn't able to maintain operations at the marina, management is working to amend an existing contract within Lake Mead NRA, authorizing similar land-based trailer, storage and fueling services to add Echo Bay trailer village, RV campsites, dry boat storage and land-based fuel station.

Dickinson said proposals for a new concession contract might not have been submitted because of a concern about the economic feasibility of the operation. "Revenues have dropped over the past few years due in part to the recession and declining water levels," he added.

The park has developed an Echo Bay Management Transition Team to address the future of the area. In addition to visitor services, approximately 100 boat owners lease space at Echo Bay Marina on a month-to-month basis. Without a concessioner, the slips can no longer be leased.

The transition team is assisting boat owners who would like to relocate to another marina. Uncovered boat slips of various sizes are available at Callville Bay, Las Vegas Boat Harbor, Cottonwood Cove, Willow Beach, Temple Bar and Lake Mohave Resort (Katherine Landing). Covered boat slips are available at Callville Bay and Las Vegas Boat Harbor.

"It is unfortunate that we have to ask people to leave the Echo Bay Marina after they have spent years vacationing here," said Dickinson. "Our transition team looked into a variety of options to try to bring a concessioner to Echo Bay."

In the meantime, Dickinson is equally concerned about the lack of fuel that will be available on the Overton Arm. With the 2007 closure of services at Overton Beach and the new closure of fuel services at Echo Bay, the closest water-based fuel is now 30 miles away at Callville Bay.

"It's important that people know their boats' limits before setting out on the water. They need to be more cognizant of how far they can travel and safely return before running out of fuel," he said.

Although commercial services at the marina will be closed, the launch ramp and other park services are still open.

"The public can launch boats from the extended launch ramp. There are beautiful picnic and campground areas with public restrooms and an RV dump station, and for those who fish, there is a fish cleaning station," said Dickinson.

"Echo Bay is a beautiful area of Lake Mead that welcomes nearly 200,000 recreational visitors a year," he added.

Photos of the facilities at Echo Bay can be viewed and downloaded at http://flic.kr/s/aHsjDtich1.

-NPS-

Did You Know?

A flowering Mohave Yucca

The Native Americans utilized the many resources the Mojave Desert offered. The Mojave yucca provided materials for mats, sandals, nets, baskets, and rope. Its cucumber-like fruit was an important food source in the spring.