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Kettle Falls Marina At Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area To Close April 30


Despite more than $100,000 in houseboat rental deposits for the coming summer, Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area has decided to close the Kettle Falls Marina on April 30, when its contract with Lake Roosevelt Vacations, Inc. ends.

The park says it wants to evaluate whether the services – boat slip rentals, houseboat rentals, fuel sales, and a small store, “all of which have been long-term conveniences for the visiting public” – are necessary at the northern end of the lake in eastern Washington.

“The National Park Service will take a fresh look at public needs and wants with regard to services for the area,” Superintendent Dan Foster said in a release. “We will evaluate the potential to attract future concessions and whether services offered in neighboring communities already satisfy the demands of our visitors. We regret the impact this will have on our visitors.”

The government solicited bids for a 10-year contract at Kettle Falls Marina beginning last May, but announced February 6 that it had canceled the prospectus. That was news to Ed Wimberly, the president of Lake Roosevelt Vacations, who wrote that he heard about the decision only after the park sent out a press release and that he has not received a response as to why his proposal was not accepted.

“This decision was totally unexpected and left me stunned,” Mr. Wimberly wrote in a letter to Laura Joss, director of the National Park Service’s Pacific West Region, a day after the announcement was made. “Just this past May, when it issued its Prospectus for proposals to operate at Kettle Falls Marina, the agency was touting the strong demand for these services. I strongly urge you to reconsider this decision for the sake of the hundreds of recreationists who make Kettle Falls Marina their choice for a great summer vacation, for the sake of the local business community which depends on these operations, and for the sake of public safety.”

Mr. Wimberly also wrote that he told Superintendent Foster in a letter dated January 23 that he had over $100,000 in deposits for houseboat rentals for the upcoming season. “Given this fact, I am perplexed as to why the National Park Service has now suddenly decided it needs to spend time and money to assess whether there is a demand for these recreational services,” he wrote in his letter to Ms. Joss.

Mr. Wimberly, who said that he is “fully prepared and willing to continue providing the recreational services,” pointed out that the local sheriff’s office feels that having fuel available at the marina is a matter of public safety, citing a 2015 letter from Stevens County Sheriff Kendle Allen.

The park is directing visitors who have reservations for services after April 30 to work with Lake Roosevelt Vacations for any applicable refunds.

While slip rentals and houseboat rentals will no longer be available at the Kettle Falls Marina, they will continue at Seven Bays, Keller Ferry, and the Spokane Tribe’s Two Rivers Marina. Purchase of fuel and other recreation sundries will need to be made in Kettle Falls, Colville, or Noisy Waters.


This is a decision that affects our community. To not offer these services affects revenue for Stevens County and wii hurt our tourism.  In our economy we need to sustain viability for our region.  Please reconsider this decision 

The PS around here has run Rampant for many years, kicking people off beaches, boat ramps, and the Lake for there own petty reasons!! Why do they think they control this? This belongs to the People of the United States!! Not this Ranger!!!!!! This is rediculous, there are no other facilities on the north end of the Lake, Most pleaseure boats don't carry enough fuel to go to the Spokane River, the only other place for on water fuel!! Is it better to carry extra gas in the boat and chance a fiery accident?  What about the local Jobs??

Seriously running amuck here and trying to get people to quit using the PS private domain!! Sure do a study after you close the place down!!!!

These are the same folks that shot a man becuase of loud music on a parked house boat!!

The Kettle Falls Marina is VITAL to the safety of the residents and visitors of Lake Roosevelt. Not having to pull their boats out of the water or go clear down to Two Rivers for fuel in the middle of a search or rescue! Then you have the economic impact to one of the more economically depressed areas in the state! In the winter, we rely on 49deg North, but the rest of the year we rely on the tourism generated by the river! Take the river away from Stevens County and you might as well start telling businesses that rely on tourism (hotels, stores, gas stations, restaurants) to start closing their doors. 

I posted this "story" on the Face-book page for Stevens county.  A member of the group pointed out a fact you need to give some thought to.  The Search and Recue dive team uses one of those slips for their boat.  Do you not understand that by making that team go to the Casino for fuel it could cost a life?  The same for the time to get their boat in the water when needed.  More kind words, and more good things need to be done.

I'd guess that the brutal reduction in national park service funding has something to do with this decision.  The parks are running in large part on volunteers because they don't have enough funding for a full-time staff. Any concession, like this one, needs NPS oversight - probably not enough money for that.  So, folks, if you want first rate facilities, like this boat concession, stop criticizing the NPS and begin DEMANDING that your local representatives fight for adequate budgets.  The war department budget has doubled since GWB was in office, to about 660 BILLIONand BO did nothing to reduce it.  But the NPS budget has remainded at less than $4 billion, for 400 NPS units, for years - and BO did nothing to increase it.  So if you want to put blame, put it on yourselves for not insisting that your representatives fund these parks. 

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