DETROIT, Ore. (KOIN) — Detroit Lake is welcoming back tourists this Memorial Day weekend and some businesses are opening for the first time since wildfires ravaged the region.
Detroit Lake State Park will be open for limited camping while the Detroit Lake Marina will be partially available. The Santiam Canyon fires destroyed the main building but the docks and rental boats in the water survived.
People will be able to moor their boats at the marina overnight, weekly, or monthly.
Local workers advice visitors to the area to come prepared for changes and to be patient.
“Our biggest goal this year is we are trying to do our best and give people something. Obviously there is a lot of destruction around and we are trying really hard to bring back the community and people back to the community,” said Carly Lunski, co-owner of Detroit Lake Marina.
The marina is being rebuilt and Carly says the community has been supportive and helpful. They say they want to do their part so that people can enjoy the lake.
Residents say they are looking forward to the Detroit Lake Fishing Derby over the weekend.
Visitors should keep in mind that there is still a lot of construction underway and fuel should be packed in as the nearest gas station is 20 miles away in Mill City. Residential neighborhoods are also off-limits for visitors.
“The lake is open, the state parks are open, the day-use areas are open,” said marina co-owner Lucas Lunski. “There are areas for people to be able to hang out on the lake and recreate. As far as amenities go, there’s no gas in the area so make sure to bring gas and have everything filled up because you aren’t going to be able to fill up anything here.”
Stores in the area are open and stocked with food and drinks, including Mountain High Grocery, Driftwood Grill and Connors BBQ. Carly encouraged people to visit and help the town recover by shopping and supporting local businesses.
“We wanted to come back out to where we knew there was quite a disaster and a place we could help out a little bit by hanging out and contributing, paying the fees here. Buying some ice cream to help the economy,” said camper Collin Miller. “It’s a beautiful day, it’s a great drive out here. Kind of crazy to see the devastation but the regrowth at the same time.”