Effort Underway To Save Burr Oak Lodge

By
Fred Kight

Dateline
Updated Mon, Mar 5, 2012 12:20 pm

On January 31, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources closed the lodge at Burr Oak State Park.

This came as a great disappointment to many people, including Deana Clark.

Clark is Director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau in Morgan County where the lodge is located.

'We've started a "Save Burr Oak" campaign.  We're asking folks to write letters and send e-mails and make phone calls.  And you can find those addresses and phone numbers on our website at www.visitmorgancountyohio.com and you'll find a link there to telephone numbers and addresses and we'd encourage folks to take advantage of that and help us out all they can," says Clark.

Clark was a recent guest on Newswatch on WOUB TV and we asked her about reopening the lodge.

"We have no promises from the state but we do have their word that they are doing what they can to find an operator and they're researching ways to enhance the activities at the park, some outdoor recreational type things."

The Burr Oak lodge has 60 rooms which all too often were vacant.

It was losing money and when the state announced the closing, officials said it was a temporary move and they want to study how to fix the financial problem.

"It's a beautiful, beautiful lodge, beautiful park and Morgan County is, our moto is that we are the front porch to the great outdoors.  If the state will implement things that are, extra outdoor activities, to bring families in to stay in the lodge, we're in total support of those activities," says Clark.

ODNR says it will take into account the changing tastes of park visitors, who now want more adventure activities such as zip lines and paintball.

Another possibility, says Clark, is some kind of partnership with the Wayne National Forest, which is a popular, nearby spot for All Terrain Vehicle riders.

"Yes, there are talks and again those are talks that I'm not certain on.  But, I've heard the park is interested in joining Wayne National Forest in their miles of ATV trails and hooking that in with Burr Oak and making it a hundred miles worth of ATV trails as an attraction for folks to come into the area."

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