Park to retain control of restaurant, golf course for now
by Franklin Clark, Reporter --
Jan 05, 2011 | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Although there was talk of privatizing golf courses and restaurants at Kentucky’s 17 state resort parks, at Lake Barkley State Resort Park that idea is “dead in the water” for the time being, said Park Manager John Jordan.

“We haven’t gotten a good response on those two ideas, so for now they’ll still be operated by the park,” Jordan said.

However, for the most part many of the park’s facilities are still closed Sunday through Tuesday, and the staff are only going to work 30 hours a week, unless there is enough business to justify being open longer, said Jordan.

There have been some days and weeks that do indeed justify being open longer, such as family reunions, hospitality training for the staff or deep cleaning, and the park facilities were open for the New Year’s Bash, which saw an attendance of about 160 people, Jordan said, adding that during those weeks with extra business, the staff works their usual full-time 37.5 hours.

The decreased hours will extend into March or April, said Jordan, who also reiterated that all of the facilities at the park have been winterized.

And although there was talk last year of the park’s restaurant serving alcohol, Jordan said he hasn’t heard anything about that one way or another in months, although he also stated that he expects to know if they will in the next few months.

Kentucky Parks Commissioner Gerry van der Meer said in June that Barkley Park might be one of four resort parks in Kentucky to allow the serving of alcohol.

Aside from the New Year’s Bash, business has been slow at the park in recent weeks, Jordan said. He also noted that it’s probably too early to tell whether the decreased hours have helped the park’s bottom line.

However, since the park spends roughly $65,000 per month heating the park facilities during the winter months, having the park open fewer days is bound to help, at least to a certain extent, said Jordan.

A study released by PROS Consulting in June recommended the privatization of golf courses and restaurants in the state’s resort parks and the sale of alcohol in four of those resort parks.

Although Kentucky parks generated $53 million in revenues – the third highest in the nation, after California and New York – that revenue was about 64 percent of the total operating expenses, said van der Meer.

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