Lake Area Adventures Invests in Lakeside – American Press
On Friday, Lake Charles officials unveiled the new Lake Area Adventures lakefront project at the edge of North Beach, just off Interstate 10. The development will offer boat and kayak rentals, water tours, fishing from the pier and food from a local barbecue restaurant.
Tim Robles is the general manager of Lake Area Adventures, a personal watercraft rental business that’s been in business since 2016. He said the lakeside facility will house Paul’s Rib Shack, a stage for shows, a pier and outdoor seating. ‘outside. Construction is expected to begin this summer, subject to City Council approval.
Robles said the goal is for some type of activity to begin during construction of the facility.
“When people cross that bridge (I-10), we want you to see more than just refineries,” he said. “We want you to see a community that loves the outdoors.”
Mayor Nic Hunter said city officials noticed a lack of waterfront activity along the lake. He said Lake Area Adventures will attract locals and tourists along Interstate 10.
“Our welcome sign to the rest of the world continues to get brighter and brighter,” Hunter said. “You can’t buy this view or this experience on Amazon.”
The Lake Area Adventures project was spurred by plans for two other lakeside development efforts, Hunter said. One is the $20 million Port Wonder complex, which will house a new children’s museum and a science and nature center. Plans are also underway for Crying Eagle Brewing’s second location.
The Port Wonder and Crying Eagle lakefront projects were announced before the COVID-19 pandemic and four federally declared disasters. Hurricanes Laura and Delta made landfall in August and October 2020, followed by a winter storm last February and historic flooding last May. Officials opened Port Wonder last June, and Hunter said “major visible work” at the site is weeks away from start-up.
“(This year) is going to be the year to see it and believe it lakeside,” Hunter said.
Paul Pettefer is the owner of Paul’s Rib Shack, a barbecue restaurant on Nelson Road. He said the new development is an incredible opportunity to have access to waterside adventures.
District A Councilman Marshall Simien said he views the lakefront as the “gateway” to the city. He said the Lake Area Adventures project is not just about development.
“It’s about the jobs it’s going to create,” he said. “It’s a quality of life issue for us as a lakeside town.”
City Administrator John Cardone said the Lake Area Adventures site involves both public and private entities.
“It’s a perfect example of what can happen when diverse stakeholders come together in a committed effort to create an incredible opportunity for our region,” he said.
Robles said the local community is brave and has not been deterred by the COVID-19 pandemic or any of the natural disasters that occurred in 2020 and 2021. He said boat sales soared during the pandemic and that their business has seen rentals quadruple.
“Southwest Louisiana is not about survival; it’s about thriving,” he said. “We’re going to create something in this place that people can be proud of.”