Three months after fire, summer business brisk at Conley Bottom Marina

MONTICELLO, Ky. (WKYT) – It’s been three months since a massive fire devastated a popular Southern Kentucky marina.

The wreckage from the fire will be removed in the fall, making way for a new office, store, and restaurant. (Photo: WKYT/Phil Pendleton)

The fire destroyed three main buildings at the Conley Bottom Marina on Lake Cumberland. The fire came at a terrible time, just before the start of the busy summer season.

The marina owners, however, say customers and their community turned a tragedy into a triumph.

Co-owner Fred Piercy says it’s been a wonderful summer, and the fire didn’t keep people away. The marina still rented all their boats and sold out camping spaces. One of the things people said they’d miss the most from the marina was the ice cream. Turns out, that didn’t go away either.

“[It's] kind of a drawing card,” says Piercy. “People come to get the ice cream, see the wreckage we have left. It’s been good.”

Because of the nature of the fire and how heavily damaged the dock was, the owners tell me they may never know exactly what caused the fire, but they believe it was likely sparked by something accidental in nature.

The damaged dock and debris remains 3 months after the fire, also a sign of how the fire had them down, but not out.

“We’ve been so busy business-wise, we haven’t had time to do anything with it anyway.”

Conley Bottom plans to start removing the old dock this fall and building a new office, store, and restaurant through the winter.

Piercy says that the new restaurant and store will be bigger than the old ones. Both are slated to open before the start of next year’s boating season.

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