Monday, April 7, 2008

Lake Snowden Controversy Ends

Jessica Demczar

Campers and visitors alike were back in full force for the first official open weekend of Lake Snowden.

Lake Snowden, which opened in 1972, has been closed to campers for about two years because of controversy over exactly what to do with the park.

Hocking College has owned and operated the public park since 1998. Because of financial difficulties, it was looking into selling the park to the Moondance Development Group.

Moondance was interested in creating a resort at the park, which would have included a restaurant, lodge and spa. Hocking College President John Light had told Athens MidDay in the past that having these resort amenities would help Hocking students by allowing them to intern at the various facilities.

But the public opposed the plan and did not want the park turned into a resort. Camper Arlene Tibby, who has been visiting the park for the past 15 years, says since Hocking College became the owner, some campers haven't returned to the park. Tibby also says some things are different since the park changed hands from Le-Ax Water District to the college.

Arlene Tibby of Jackson County talks about the decreased number of campers and the changes at Lake Snowden.

Even though overnight campers such as Tibby weren't able to enjoy the park last year, anglers haven't had to miss out on any fishing opportunities. Shawn Hawks, a fisherman from Gallia County, says the park was never closed for him. But he says he's glad the park has been reopened.

Shawn Hawks of Gallia County explains that anglers have always been allowed to visit the park.

Fees to visit and camp at the park have almost doubled. The new price list is at Lake Snowden Fee Information page.

Lake Snowden is located off Route 50 in Albany.

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