Businesses feeling heat after Kings River closed off to swimmers

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The river in both Fresno, Kings and Tulare County remains closed due to high water and dangerous conditions, but several shops were counting on business from swimmers during a busy Memorial Day weekend. (KFSN)

The closure of the Kings River is making it very difficult for some businesses to stay afloat on what they had hoped would be a busy holiday weekend.

The river in both Fresno, Kings and Tulare County remains closed due to high water and dangerous conditions. Deputies are doing patrols in boats all weekend on the Kings River to make sure that no one is on the water.

Some campers are making the best of it, but it may be the start of a tough summer for lakeside businesses. The inviting water is only a beautiful backdrop for those visiting the river this Memorial Day weekend.

But for Lindy's Landing owner Jake Lange, it's lost its sparkle because it's putting his resort in the red. It's the second wave of tough times. Before the river was closed, it had completely flooded Lindy's Landing campground in March.

"It's a big hit because we were underwater," he said. "Probably paid about $30,000 out of our own pocket, and just the cancellations alone. Every day is a big hit."

This holiday weekend, he hoped to make up for some of the losses. But so far, there's plenty of lakefront camp spots. Even though a lagoon in the park is open for swimming, Friday's cool breeze kept even kids at arm's distance.

Down the river in Reedley, shoreside water entertainment is the closest Harold King plans to get to the water. This year, instead of packing a kayak, he found other creative but fun alternatives.

"I've got a drone," he said. "This buggy will go up to 30 miles an hour and got some air hogs."

Harold was the first to pitch his tent Friday and is planning to see plenty of others here since live bands are hoping to liven up the mood starting Saturday.

But the situation is a little grayer for Jake, who had to cancel a 300-person family reunion when the resort was drowning in water. He is hoping it's not the sign of a hot, penniless summer.

"It's kinda turning out to be a dud because if they can't get on the water," he said. "They don't want to come camping."

The Kings River is closed to recreation indefinitely. Fresno County deputies expect to be busy with large crowds this weekend at Shaver and Pine Flat Lake.

Related Topics:
swimmingKings Riverfresno countyFresno County
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