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Lake Elsinore Working To Expand Tourism At Water's Edge

“Essentially, a 3,000-acre park is what we have here,” said City Manager Bob Brady. “We have tremendous recreational and development opportunities.”

As construction on a on the northwestern shore of Lake Elsinore continues, city officials have put out the welcome mat for other development at the water’s edge.

And hopes are high that the lake will see some added amenities in the months and years to come.

“Essentially, a 3,000-acre park is what we have here,” said City Manager Bob Brady. “We have tremendous recreational and development opportunities.”

The new 11.5-acre boat launch facility is expected to open in June 2012. It replaces the long-idle sunken boat ramp in the Lake Elsinore Campground and will feature a six-lane lane boat ramp, staging area, vehicle and boat trailer parking lot with 270 spaces, restroom building with eight stalls, entry kiosk, two 400-foot long floating breakwater/dock systems, a lighted and landscaped picnic area and fish-cleaning station.

Project funding comes from various sources, including redevelopment money, grants and bonds.

Recreation on and around the lake already exists. Fishing, boating, wildlife viewing, skydiving, camping, picnicking, and extreme water sports competitions are just some of the current activities.

But the lake has been including dry-ups and massive fish die-offs. These events impacted the local economy and tarnished Lake Elsinore’s reputation as a premier hot spot.

In recent years, however, the city, in partnership with the county and local water authorities, has been able to manage lake health. Pat Kilroy, director of the city's Lake and Aquatic Resources Department, explained that significant resources and technology have been invested to manage water level, water quality, and aquatic life.

With lake health better under control, the city is now in a position to take advantage of improvements and development opportunities around the largest fresh-water body in Southern California, Brady and other officials say.

While they are quick to point out that any development must be balanced with residents’ concerns and environmental considerations, they say Lake Elsinore -- perhaps more than ever before -- has opportunity to become a recreational destination once again.

Lake Elsinore Mayor Brian Tisdale said he is willing to work with everyone who comes forward with money and solid development plans. He explained the new boat launch is designed to offer lake amenities, but it’s also a project that could spur additional development in the area. An RV park for visitors and a marina with recreation-based businesses, restaurants and shops are just some of the possibilities for the open space around the new boat launch.

“It just takes money,” Tisdale said.

Plans -- and hopefully money -- have already been brought forward to the city to build a new wakeboard park on the lake.

At the Inlet Channel near the levee, In April, Lake Elsinore City Council gave an ok to California Cable Parks operators to develop a recreational area that would see several 28-feet-tall metal towers in the Channel, with cabling running between the towers for skiing, and the installation of wakeboarding structures.

The project is now in the environmental review phase, but Kilroy said the city is optimistic and the developer is gearing up for a summer 2012 opening if all moves ahead.

Although city officials can only directly control what happens inside their boundaries, Tisdale said he and Brady have been working closely with Supervisor Bob Buster on ways to partner with the county for improvements in Lakeland Village as well.

The unincorporated area along the lake’s western shore is The city wants Lakeland Village improvements because many people – especially out-of-towners who make the trek over the Ortega – aren’t aware that most of the blighted Grand Avenue stretch is outside city limits, Tisdale said.

“They associate it with Lake Elsinore, and it’s not,” he said.

Although Brady said the city’s primary concern is Lake Elsinore, the big picture is the entire shoreline.

Lake Elsinore Councilman Peter Weber said he is optimistic, especially with the new boat launch facility opening next year.

“I feel confident,” he said of future development around the lake. “This [the boat launch project] is proceeding for a lot of good reasons.”

Lisa November 01, 2011 at 09:39 PM
The Lake is so beautiful. Hopefully, the architecture will be beautiful as well. I can see Log cabin restaurants, retail shops and other establishments. Also, with warfs and duck ponds for kids to feed the duckies. Lake Tahoe has some retail centers like that. They are beautiful.
Ken Mayes November 02, 2011 at 12:41 AM
The mayor said it all "it takes money" in all the right palms. In the mean time keep on dreaming extreme. This is about the 20th plan that has been brought to this city in the last 30 years and none have gone anywhere, everyone wants another Mission Bay and it ain't going to happen. People just want to have fun without it costing an arm and a leg.
Stacy B. November 02, 2011 at 03:02 PM
I find it interesting that in some opinions Lakeland Village has is considered to be a rough area. My family has lived in Wildomar for over 20 years and I have always told my children to stay away from the "bird" tract area. While I agree that they are both equally blighted and run down. My perception was that the crime rate was higher over there.
Gina November 02, 2011 at 03:40 PM
I get frustrated everytime I go to Lake Elsinore. I see so much potential there between the geography, the lake, and the architecture... the lamp posts that are falling apart were beaautiful at one time. There should be shopping and restaurants along the water front with docks for people to park watercraft and access from the water. None of the efforts will matter if Lakeland Villiage doesn't clean up. Who redecorates their house without cleaning it first? I always thought it was part of lake Elsinore... It's nasty over there for sure.
Andria November 02, 2011 at 03:48 PM
We moved out of Lake Elsinore because none of these plans ever come to fruition, and the area is so crime ridden. Who wants to go recreating at a lake in a gang infested area with grafitti, and a high crime rate. Use the money to clean up the area, clean up the crime, then maybe people will want to come be tourists there.
Tana November 02, 2011 at 04:07 PM
Its about time we fix up the crap hole! Yea!
Diana November 02, 2011 at 06:19 PM
I agree with Ken, I don't know why these articles are posted because they are nothing more then a waste of time. There are so many other things wrong with LE, until they are fixed tourism just isn't going to happen. We drive on roads that are in dire need of repair and widening, some of them remain as they were in the 1930's. Two lane roads that surround the Lake are not efficient for the amount of people we have here now. The North end of the Lake across the street from the "new boat launch revamp" is full of low income apartments, with a new influx of gang members from LA & Compton, actually LE is referred to as the new "east LA". Downtown is little Mexico with most of the shops either catering to the Hispanic or operated by Hispanic. As far as Grand Ave, I have been in contact with Riverside County regarding Grand Ave that has become a commuter freeway for those traveling from Murrieta, Temecula to access the Ortegas to OC, they have no plans to do any improvements to this area any time soon. In 20 years the core area of LE has gone down the tubes and continues to do so. Apparently the city Manager has never visited the public beach on a warm summer weekend, I lived across the street from it. OMG I couldn't get in our out of my driveway let alone drive down the street, traffic backed up for hours, loud music from every kind of music there is, drinking, nudity and no one to control it. As usual our City officials are clue less. "Dream Extreme" that says it all.
Robert Hartford November 03, 2011 at 03:44 PM
It doesn't look like many people believe you, Bob.
Andria November 03, 2011 at 08:16 PM
Accurate assessment! To bad the Elsinore council/mayor can't see the truth of the matter.
Andria November 03, 2011 at 08:17 PM
Well said! I hope you don't delete your comment.
susie-Q November 03, 2011 at 08:32 PM
The reason so many citizens are unhappy with all of these ideas is because most of the planning for the past 20 years has not come to fruition. The reason people from outside of Lake Elsinore do not come here is lack of facilities. If some of these facilities were built maybe there would be more jobs and we would not have as much crime. THe area next to the boat launch is not sufficient for the demand and the neighborhood suffers. Don't use the gangs and crime as an excuse that people do not come to Lake Elsinore. Venice Beach is worse and and it is a tourist destination along with many other places. Regarding the statement that the hispanics that have taken over Main St. Those hispanics have purchased most of the homes in downtown Lake Elsinore that used to be rental properties and with pride of ownership have given the area a much needed facelift. Twenty years ago that area was very rundown due to the fact that most property owners were out of town. The majority of businesses that exist on Main St. have been there for 20+ years. Our town is a mix of cultures and I am proud to live here. Any business in this community are an asset, they contribute to our city's revenue. The city should have built a waterpark years ago. Let's stop putting our town down all of the time and start building it up.
susie-Q November 03, 2011 at 08:35 PM
Very positive comments. I like your ideas.
susie-Q November 03, 2011 at 08:37 PM
More good ideas. I wish the city and the county would work together to accomplish the clean up necessary for Lakeland Village.
Andria November 03, 2011 at 08:44 PM
My office is in Lake Elsinore, but I no longer live there. A few months ago, we watched a shooting from my balcony. The building owner had to install cameras, lighting, etc., in the parking lot and still the undesirables pull into the parking lot at night to "do their thing". Lake Elsinore is known- throughout the valley here- as the place no one wants to go shop, etc. because it is run down, crime ridden and unsafe. Yes, build the city up first by hiring enough police officers, get the gangs out, clean up the city. Then, fix the roads, build the whiz bang recreational facilities and people will come. And btw, I've seen businesses come and go on Main Street. The majority have been there for 20 plus years?
Diana November 03, 2011 at 09:33 PM
I think Susy-Q was referring to the barber shop, the Mexican restaurant and perhaps the one antique shop on the corner, they have been there for along time. I would love to be able to post something positive in my negative environment but until the Council, Manager and others in charge get off their butts and actually show me some positive I will continue to post as I see things with my own eyes. I get the best of both worlds living in the north end and having a business in Lakeland Village...I am so lucky :) As for an excuse of gangs and such is why people don't come to LE that's a fact not an excuse ask anyone or have a conversation when you tell them you live in LE, the looks on their face pretty much tell the story but they don't stop there they tell you exactly what they think of this area, and it's not pretty what they have to say.
D A November 05, 2011 at 06:10 PM
I am amazed at how everyone wants to put down Lake elsinore for how bad it is. As a real estate Broker I see a lot of areas that surround us. Go take a look at Perris Qual Valley, Moreno Valley, go look at the neighborhoods , You might discover life is not so bad in Lake Elsinore after all!
Major November 05, 2011 at 06:25 PM
Nothing wrong with being the Glass Is Half Full kind of guy. L E has and continues to have great potentials even though we have passed the high mark opportunities now that we have built out much of the residential capacities and the largest percentage of the population are not the kind to spend a lot on boats and recreation (am saying this lightly). The biggest problem is and has always been the minds controlling development; I know that I will never again waste my time trying to lead any jackasses to water again. L E could have its own Del Mar today were it not for such minds.
Andria November 06, 2011 at 06:10 AM
Dale, Yes, there may be worse areas than L.E., but that really has nothing to do with this discussion. Lake Elsinore has so much potential that has never been brought to fruition. Instead, it's run down and crime ridden, and there's really no reason for that but poor management. The L.E. major and council need to get their heads in reality. If there's money to be spent, at this point, spend it on cleaning up the crime, the gangs, etc. LE needs more police,detectives, and code enforcement officers, etc.
anonymous September 17, 2012 at 06:00 PM
You can"t improve something until you take out the garbage...amen...

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