Byline: Associated Press
BOULDER CITY, Nev. (AP) — National Park Service officials are blaming low water levels and a decline in business for the planned closure of the Echo Bay Marina fuel dock and boat slip facility on the northern part of Lake Mead.
Bill Dickinson, superintendent of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, said no bidders sought the 10-year contract for water-based services at the facility in the Overton arm of the lake.
Forever Resorts, a concessioner that operates several other marinas on lakes Mead and Mohave, provided contract services for the past three years at Echo Bay. That contract expired Jan. 31.
“Revenues have dropped over the past few years, due in part to the recession and declining water levels,” Dickinson said. He added that prospective bidders may have been concerned about the economic feasibility of the Echo Bay location, about 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
Dickinson said the park service wants to maintain visitor access and commercial services on the Overton Arm of the Colorado River reservoir behind Hoover Dam. But with the 2007 closure of services at Overton Beach and the pending closure of Echo Bay, the closest boat fuel dock will be at Callville Bay, 30 miles away.
That means boaters will need to be aware of how far they can travel and safely return before running out of fuel, Dickinson said.
Dickinson said about 100 boat owners will lose lease space at Echo Bay Marina.
Park officials are trying to keep open the Echo Bay trailer village, RV campsites, dry boat storage and land-based fuel station. A public boat launch, picnic and campground with public restrooms and an RV dump station will remain open, along with a fish cleaning station.