A nearly $8 million refurbishment on Lake Elsinore is the start of “great things to come,” promised Pat Kilroy, the city’s director of parks and recreation.
This week, Lake Elsinore will officially reopen its boat launch facility on the water’s northwestern shore. The newly renamed La Laguna Resort boasts more than 11 acres featuring a sandy beach, designated wading area, six-lane boat launch, two 400-foot-long docks, massive parking lot, restroom facility, fish-cleaning station, picnic area, lights and landscaping.
The official grand opening takes place June 30 at 32040 Riverside Drive and the public is encouraged to attend.
Kilroy, who has been working on the refurbishment since inception, says the
Last week, Kilroy and the Lake Elsinore Valley Chamber of Commerce invited local media to get a La Laguna sneak-peek. The city has also hired the services of a marketing and public relations firm to shape Lake Elsinore’s tourism message. Advertisements and advertorials for La Laguna are being placed, and the city is working with broadcasters on television segments that highlight Lake Elsinore’s distinguished status as Southern California’s largest natural freshwater lake.
James Riley, Lake Elsinore’s director of administrative services, characterized the lake as the “centerpiece” of the city's recreational resources and “a valuable contributor to the vitality and economic development of the community."
“Safe and reliable access to the lake is essential to maximizing its resource value,” Riley continued, adding that the improvements will promote both recreational and economic development opportunities for the community.
Standing at La Laguna Resort now, it’s easy to forget the spot once housed a sunken and dilapidated boat launch. Although the city had acquired the site and surrounding area in 1993, in the early 2000s the old boat launch and nearby beach were sealed off following five drownings and concerns that launch construction that was not conducive to rising water levels.
Part of the work done at La Laguna has included demolishing the old launch and raising the new construction by 15 feet, as well as smoothing steep, underwater drop-offs.
Along with working to remove safety hazards, the new facility is easier on the eye. Landscaping includes a throng of relocated mature palm trees; there’s still a long shot of the Cleveland National Forest and lake; avian wildlife abounds; and a pristine sandy beach that will accommodate hundreds of sunbathers has been developed.
It’s hoped, Kilroy said, that La Laguna Resort will bring visitors back – time and again.
La Laguna was designed with boaters and anglers in mind, Kilroy continued. The new docks feature a fiberglass finish to protect expensive boats, the staging area offers easy turnaround for tow vehicles, a shiny new fish-cleaning station makes life easier for anglers,
Additionally, to ensure city visitors know where La Laguna is located, Kilroy said new directional signs will be posted from the 15 Freeway.
While vendors have yet to sign on the dotted line, Kilroy stressed there is room for businesses to open at La Laguna. Additionally, he is hoping the adjoining motor home park on Riverside Drive – which has remained open during the boat launch closure -- will be improved now that the new resort is opening. A request for proposal is being drafted that will look for private investment to upgrade the campground in exchange for a concession agreement, Kilroy explained.
Kilroy said he is anxious for visitors to enjoy Lake Elsinore’s newest attraction. “This is a signature event for the city as far as putting us on the recreational map."