Lake Texoma Changes Make Waves

1-23-06 - For a group of families this will be their last summer to enjoy the Paw Paw Creek Resort. Soon thousands of others will be enjoying it too.

It's hard to say which spot on Lake Texoma is the most breathtaking, but the families who have spent countless summers and winters enjoying this view would argue Paw Paw Creek Resort is at the top.

Jerry Pershica, an upset tenant, said, "Look around you, ain't another place like this on the lake. We've been here 32 years."

Jerry Pershica and his wife were one of the first to have their mobile home on the resort. They're one of 50 who now call it their home away from home, along with others who take advantage of more than 100 campsites, but they won't be there much longer.

"It's hard to believe we're losing everything."

Last October the Army Corps of Engineers passed the leasing rights of the resort from Marine Quest to the Double Diamond Company. The tenants out here who pay rent on a monthly basis began catching wind that an upscale resort was going in and they would be forced out.

Jack Howard, an upset tenant, shared, "The rumor’s been flying around for quite sometime and nobody expected it to really come to pass because we thought more of the Corps of Engineers."

Jack Howard began writing letters to the Corps and the Double Diamond Company asking what was going on. On December 12 Double Diamond mailed a letter back stating they will be developing an "upscale resort and residential golf course community" at Paw Paw Creek, and “all mobile homes will need to be removed" by June 1.

Earl Tehan, another upset tenant, said, "I think everybody understands progress and a golf course and all things they want to do, but there's gotta be room for families too."

These families who have so many memories and time invested out here are finding it very hard to say good-bye.

"The neighbors that's been with us, the relationship, that's the hard part."

"We're fighting a battle with a company overloaded with money and lawyers of all sorts, and I feel like a mosquito bit as far as I'm concerned, but we're gonna try until the end."

The Army Corps of Engineers says the changes are a business decision by the new management and the current tenants only have a rental agreement.

Double Diamond owns four other large resorts including one on Lake Whitney and Possum Kingdom. Double Diamond is asking that all mobile homes are removed by May 31. Construction is set to begin June 1.