Low lake levels don’t deter Labor Day boaters.

AUSTIN, Texas – Accompanied by a dwindling lake level of 38 percent for nearly a week, a small group of boaters took to Lake Travis for Labor Day, as reported by Water Data for Texas. The adverse impact of the low lake levels is felt not only by the boaters but also by various businesses and county parks operating near the lake. Jody Theriot, the general manager of The Oasis on Lake Travis, expressed his concern, stating, “The lake right now, I think there is only one boat ramp open so if people can’t get on the boat ramps it affects not only our business, but all the other businesses on the lake as well as some of the county parks. This weekend looking out towards Windy Point and Hippy Hollow crowds were nowhere this size they have been in years past.”

According to research conducted by Water Data for Texas, Lake Travis was 51 percent full during the same time last year, making the current levels drastically lower. Reflecting on the past, Theriot reminisces, “It was low, but it was nowhere near as low as this was. It was a really good year for us all the other businesses on the lake as well as a lot more boat traffic. We didn’t have near sometimes island being shown like it was, and it was just busy all the way around.”

The underlying cause behind the tepid lake traffic and its subsequent effect on businesses, as explained by Theriot, is the record-high temperatures prevailing in the region. With temperatures consistently exceeding a scorching 100 degrees, the number of visitors has declined drastically. Theriot reveals, “It is definitely a little less than years past. It’s contributed to the consistent hundred degree heat. We are taking a wallet with the number of days of just being well over a hundred, affecting business big time.”

Maurice Brown, a visitor at The Oasis on Lake Travis, affirms the uncomfortable conditions, stating, “I mean it’s really hot, there’s no question about that, it’s really hot.” Understanding the gravity of the situation, Theriot adds, “I myself wouldn’t want to come sit outside and eat anything in a hundred-degree heat, let alone 110. We got a mister system and fans, and it doesn’t help blowing hot air around.”

However, despite the challenges posed by the scorching weather, the breathtaking lake views serve as a silver lining for the restaurant. According to Theriot, “The view is awesome here, and we wanted to see the sunset which will be really nice, so I mean there are way more positives than negatives to it, it’s just hot.” He further comments, “It’s definitely impacting the sales. We are known as the sunset capital of Texas, and people are starting to come out.”

The situation at Lake Travis paints a concerning picture for the businesses operating near the lake, struggling to cope with reduced footfall due to low lake levels and extreme temperatures. As the summer season continues, it remains to be seen how these businesses adapt to changing conditions and find innovative strategies to draw in customers despite the challenging circumstances.

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