Tourism resuming at Lake Cumberland for Memorial Day weekend

LAKE CUMBERLAND, Ky. (WKYT) - Memorial Day weekend marks the start of the boating season.

So, many people around Lake Cumberland are thankful that restrictions are being lifted just in time. The expired travel ban means people can come to Kentucky for a weekend on the lake.

People can also gather in groups of up to 10 and restaurants can open dining rooms with some restrictions.

Business owners say tourism is what drives the local economy, especially on big weekends like this.

The tourism department says about four million people come to Lake Cumberland every year, making about a $119 million economic impact. But of course with so many visitors, they’re reminding boaters to follow CDC guidelines.

They say boating is a great way to practice social distancing as long as they’re not tying boats together for large gatherings. They’re hoping everyone follows the rules, so people stay healthy, and they can continue a positive boating season.

“I really am optimistic and positive about this season. I just ask that people continue to be safe and be smart," said Michelle Allen, Executive Director of Somerset-Pulaski County CVB. "But Lake Cumberland is ready for you and we’re excited to see you this Memorial Day weekend.”

Sadly, some events around the lake have already been canceled for most of the summer because of CDC guidelines, but they’re hoping they’ll be able to host the annual fall festival later this year.

Businesses in the area are also reporting a spike in boat sales so far.