Despite low water levels, Lake Travis businesses await holiday customers

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by ANDREW CHUNG and PHOTOJOURNALIST ERIN COKER/KVUE NEWS

Bio | Email | Follow: @AndrewC_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on July 3, 2013 at 6:18 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 3 at 6:21 PM

TRAVIS COUNTY -- Kamal Sundar and his family are visiting Lake Travis from Ohio for the Fourth of July holiday. 

"We went on the boat; we had a little tube. We floated around. We had fun. We swam in the water. The water is beautiful, the weather is nice, so we had fun,” he said.

His son, Neel, when asked what he liked the most about the lake trip, said: “Tubing.”

It was their first trip to Lake Travis. Even with the low lake levels, some area businesses are still expecting plenty of customers for Fourth of July and the upcoming weekend.

“We are really booked up for the holidays. In fact, we have people behind the counter right now trying to squirm and worm and work out the extra hours to find places for people to get in," said Captain Hawkeye Roth, operations director of Just for Fun Watercraft Rentals.

Doug Powell is the general manager of Emerald Point Marina. He expects a fifth of the business he normally sees on the Fourth, due to the low lake levels. "We'll have a good crowd, but we won't have thousands,” he said.

The exposed land, which normally would be covered by water, increases the fire danger from any errant fireworks - so this year, Powell has cancelled the fireworks display at his marina. "Everybody enjoys the Fourth of July. We all enjoy the fireworks. We'd love to be doing it,” he said.

Still - Powell expects people to be on the water - and reminds them to be careful. “Watch for other people on the water, wear your safety vest - just common sense,” he said.

Roth said since Lake Travis is narrower, it’s like driving on the highway. “You have to ‘drive’ defensively and watch what you're doing - watch the wakes - just take your time - and there's still places to have fun out there."

Roger Wade, spokesman for the Travis County Sheriff’s Office, said deputies will begin patrolling Lake Travis Wednesday evening, July 3rd, looking for inebriated boaters. The deputies will also be stopping boaters for safety checks – making sure they have the necessary safety equipment on board, like life vests, throw cushions, and signal horns.

Whether the lake is high or low - today's trip was definitely a thrill for these kids.  Maygha Chatram, Neel’s friend, said, "I liked tubing and just playing in the water."

 

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