Lake levels up, businesses booming

Recent rain has brought Lake Travis to almost full once again. That's good news for businesses along the lake. It is just in time for spring break and South by southwest.

According to the Lower Colorado River Authority, the last time the lake was this full was 2010. With Lake Travis being 99% full, it's a great time to be on the lake.

“It's really nice knowing you can go out and enjoy the lake again,” Trent Skinner, resident, said.

This is much better than this time last year and previous years where the lake was threatened by drought. The lake is 680.2 feet (mean sea level) and to be considered full it has to be 681 feet (msl). It's just under a foot from there right now.

“I've seen it go up, down. I've seen no water in the Pedernales River, I've seen flooding, I've seen everything,” Skinner said.

Businesses along the lake rely on that water level to keep the bucks coming in.

“When I started here it was the last year that the lake was almost full and it started on its decline. Over the years we did see a downward sales trend that correlated directly to the lake levels,” Jacob Hart, Asst. General Mgr. The Oasis, said.

Places like The Oasis and Lucy's fried chicken don't solely rely on the lake levels like some businesses like the now closed Carlos and Charley's, but lake traffic is a huge chunk of their profit. They say 60% of their money comes from locals and 40% from tourists.

“When lake levels like this rise we see an influx and return of our locals,” Hart said.

“It helps you go out and do more boating and tubing, things like that,” Gary Hinnant, tourist, said.

Lake Travis, Buchanan and Austin combined are at 94% full. Businesses, tourists and locals are hoping the water can remain steady, so they can have a successful summer.

“I hope it stays like this. It's perfect,” Skinner said.

“We are hoping with the rain, the way it's been happening , continues and the lake stays at a constant level so we can keep the traffic out there,” Hart said.

Lake Buchanan by itself is 87% full.

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