Greenbo Lake lodge reopens after fire and structural damage repair

05/25/2017 01:59 PM

GREENUP – With Memorial Day weekend upon us, the start of the traditional summer tourist season means that many more visitors will be flocking to the Commonwealth’s 49 state parks, and employees at one of the 17 resort parks are a little happier than others now that the 2017 summer tourist season is here.

The Jesse Stuart Lodge at Greenbo Lake State Park opened its doors this week after being closed since October 4, 2015.

Nineteen months ago, a kitchen fire broke out in the dining room of the lodge Greenbo causing substantial damage.

Kentucky Department of Parks Deputy Commissioner John Kington says while workers were fixing the damage from the fire, structural issues were also found.

“When we got into the remodeling, we discovered the rafters had some structural issues, we had to replace the rafters,” Kington said. “We discovered with the beams there was some delamination, and they had to be replaced. We wouldn’t have found it otherwise.

During the 19-month closure, all full-time employees kept their jobs and worked to make the park and lodge shine again.

“They spent the whole year that we were down painting, fixing, polishing, and replacing carpet,” Kington said. “They really went the extra mile to make sure this place is in really terrific shape.”

The lodge is one of 17 in the parks system, and the 19-month closure had negative financial ramifications not only for the Department of Parks, but the local economy as well.

“It’s a revenue generator and a tourism generator and it cost the community a lot of money in tax revenue, and just the money being spent around the park when people come in and visit the park and they buy gas, cokes and groceries,” Kington said.

The total cost of the repairs from the fire and truss issue was a little over $2 million.

More work on the lodge at Greenbo is planned under the $18 million “Refreshing the Finest” campaign approved by Gov. Matt Bevin and lawmakers in 2016. Exterior painting and other repairs are planned.

Don Weber

Don Weber is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers politics and education on Pure Politics, Kentucky’s only nightly program dedicated to state politics. Don is a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University. He spent many years covering sports in the Northern Kentucky area before shifting primarily to politics. You can watch Don’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. If you have a story idea you can reach Don at donald.weber@charter.com.

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