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Pulaski businesses optimistic about higher lake levels

BURNSIDE, Ky. (WKYT/WYMT) - VIP’s Restaurant in Burnside, an establishment dependent in part on the tourists that flock to Lake Cumberland every summer.

“We are hoping we will have enough good business this summer to carry us next winter,” said owner Evelyn Gibson.

So you can imagine the dread felt here when water was taken out of one of Kentucky’s largest lakes and some boaters stayed away.

“They thought there wasn’t water in the lake. They were afraid to bring their boats down,” Gibson said.

The drop in tourism caused some businesses and marinas to close. Gibson says the perfect storm of the lower lake, gas prices, and the economy almost killed them. But there’s now a light at the end of the tunnel.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had planned to raise Lake Cumberland 20 feet this year, and 20 more feet next year. But it’s been a wet spring and it appears the lake is already full.

Tourism officials in Pulaski County say hotels are full and boat rentals booked.

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