Smaller beaches impact turnout at some Utah lakes

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GARDEN CITY, Rich County — More water is great news for Utah, but it's leading to some challenges for those in the tourism industry.

The idea is that there is a whole lot more to do in areas such as Bear Lake. Even if you're still only in it for the beach, there are some options to get you there.

"There's a few people down there, but that's about it," said Royce Larsen. "We can spread out as much as we want."

Larsen is in Utah from Arizona, visiting with family. Granted, this isn't unusual for an overcast Monday in May.

Over the weekend, however, there will be a lot more competition for the space at spots like Rendezvous Beach.

"We still have access to the water," said Mark Smoot, with the Bear River Chamber of Commerce. "We still have beach. It's just not as plentiful as it was before."

Smoot said it's great to see the lake so full. As executive director of the Bear Lake Valley Chamber of Commerce, he said it means business owners like himself are having to change their pitch to visitors, reminding them that there's a whole lot more reason to come to Bear Lake than for the sand.

"Everything from horseback riding up in Logan Canyon to renting a UTV," Smoot said. "There's three beautiful loops you can take up."

Some people thinking of not coming

Smoot said the Chamber is already hearing from people who are thinking of not making their annual trip up to Bear Lake because of how much the water has taken up the beaches around the lake.

The lake is expected to peak at just 2 feet below what is considered full, as a result of snowfall from both this past winter and the winter before.

You can reserve your spot online in advance for Idaho's North Beach. State Parks on both the Utah and Idaho sides also have newly opened beaches on the east side, both for day-use and camping with more to come later this year.

"Very beautiful compared to what we're used to in Arizona," Larsen said.

The area chamber and the community are also planning a summer kickoff for June 15 that will include a contest to determine who has the best milkshake.


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Mike Anderson
Mike Anderson often doubles as his own photographer, shooting and editing most of his stories. He came to KSL in April 2011 after working for several years at various broadcast news outlets.


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