LAKE TEXOMA, Tex. -- While the winter chill is still in the air, it's not stopping preparation for summer tourism. Marinas hit hard by Lake Texoma's summer floods are now rebuilding.
Highport Marina was one of the hardest hit by last summer's floods. They suffered about $10 million worth of damage, but managers say this is just one opportunity to make much needed renovations.
The demolition crews are in, smashing and stripping the old, to bring in the new.
"The complex has been underwater three to four times in the past 20 years and the substructure is starting to fail so we felt it necessary to start over," general manger Tim Hayes says.
The scene just months ago was bleak, when record floods devastated the area, leaving this when the waters receded, causing millions of dollars in damage and lost revenue.
Now Highport managers are starting over from scratch.
"It'll be amazing, it'll be Texas Hill Country-style with a Caribbean feel, so it's going to be very nice," Hayes says.
General Manager Tim Hayes says the first phase of the Highport rebuild is the construction of a nightclub and outdoor restaurant at a higher elevation in case of future flooding. Phase two will include a two-story restaurant, also at an elevation higher than the flood zone that should be finished by 2009.
They plan to build with materials they can power wash quickly in case the complex goes underwater again.
"We want to protect the assets. That's the main reason we have it designed the way we do now," says Hayes.
Over at Tanglewood Resort, managers say the rebuild can only mean good things for business.
"I think it brings life back to the lake. It lets people know that we've recovered and progress is being made and we're the destination to come back to in the summer and the fall."
Hayes has high hopes for this first new wave of construction.
"If all the stars align, we'll have it ready for memorial day weekend for sure."
Most marinas on both sides of the lake area also rebuilding restaurants and other recreational areas are hoping this summer will be much more profitable- and drier- than last year.
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