Lake season: Success in 2020 could push Texoma further in 2021

Jerrie Whiteley
Herald Democrat
The 2018 regatta at Lake Texoma brought tourists and outdoor lovers into the region for the beginning of the lake season. (Daniel Dusek/For Herald Democrat).

Lake season is just around the corner, and while many industries were on pause for 2020, many outdoor industries skyrocketed in tourism and popularity. Lake Texoma, which draws guests from border states Texas and Oklahoma and further, draws 6-7 million visitors a year, and a large percentage of those people come in the summer.

If last year was any indication of the potential for guests and entertainment for the region, summer 2021 should make waves aplenty as local businesses say they did not take a hit in 2020. 

"I had a marina (owner) tell me they have had the marina for 30 years and (last year) was the best year they've ever had," Lake Texoma Association Executive Director Brandi Burkhalter said there wasn't just one marina that indicated last year was a great year. "That was the general consensus around the lake."

If 2021 carries on that momentum, she said it will be a lake and recreation season for the record books. And, there are already indications that the momentum is there.

"The Corps (of Engineers) opened up several of their parks early starting March 1 and they all booked up right away," she said.

Live music venues around the lake have already opened as have eateries at local marinas. And more events are planned for the summer everyday. 

She said the Lake Texoma Association will host its annual fireworks show on July 3 and then they will also be holding a wine, beer and food festival this year.

Recent rainy weather, she said, doesn't dampen the outlook for the summer season at the lake because it is rather typical to get a rainy spell in the spring. 

"We generally then just ease into the summer just fine," she said. 

She cautioned that while everyone is excited to get back out on the lake, people should make sure to take the necessary precautions like making sure that life jackets are available for everyone on each boat and that they fit properly. Additionally, she said, it is important that the person operating a watercraft knows the specifics of that particular craft. And of course people want to make sure to behave responsibly with regard to drinking and operating water crafts.

Just keeping a few safety rules and some good common sense in mind can mean everyone on the lake gets to enjoy many bright summer days at Lake Texoma.