Lake resort fighting negative perception of drought

Manager: 'We are seeing a drop in reservations'

Lake resort fighting negative perception of drought

JONES VALLEY, Calif. - Summer on the lake is a timeless classic – full of relaxation in the Northstate.

But in a drought that feeling changes. It becomes a fight against the perception that the fun is gone.

"Some people their misconception of how much water is in Shasta Lake is one of our biggest challenges," said Jones Valley Resort General Manager Rich Howe.

Memorial Day has come and gone, marking the unofficial start to summer. But regular visitors to the lake are still out of the water.

"Normally folks plan ahead anywhere from three to six months to take a houseboat vacation on Shasta Lake," Howe said. "We are seeing a drop in that."

The whole fleet is ready to go, according to Howe. The lake level is down, with roughly 250-miles of shoreline. It is a little more challenging getting to the water. Once you get there Howe said things have not changed.

"It's exactly the same. Whether the lake is down 10 feet, or at full pull, or down 100 or 150 feet - there's no difference in the opportunities that are on the lake," he said.

Operators at Jones Valley Resort think the issue has little to do with the actual water levels. Rather, it is a perception problem and something they hope changes to get people back on the boats.

"Ever since [Governor Brown] declared a drought, you know, we're getting people calling saying there's no water in Shasta Lake, which is totally false," Howe said.

It was a declaration that may have scared away some. Resorts on Shasta Lake, especially the tourist spots, are left dealing with the trickle down, according to Howe.

"There's plenty of water out there so getting that across to people is definitely the challenge this year," he said.

Several resorts on the lake are feeling the pain, according to Howe. Not only are they seeing lower numbers in reservations at the local motels but the restaurants and grocery stores, too. Howe said he is hoping for a quick turnaround once most schools are out for summer vacation in mid June.

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