Lake City beach house reopensLAKE CITY — Years ago, Lake City’s public beach was filled with hundreds of people every weekend. It was softball in the morning and the beach in the afternoon.
By: By Ginger Holm, Contributor, The Republican Eagle
LAKE CITY — Years ago, Lake City’s public beach was filled with hundreds of people every weekend. It was softball in the morning and the beach in the afternoon.
Those days are gone, but the Lake City Council and Marina Board have taken steps to bring back the “glory days” with a modern twist.
Under the mandate of the City Council, the Marina Board advertised asking the public for ideas to reopen the beach house.
“The decision to reopen the beach house for public use was a response to citizens’ requests for access to public restrooms and improved amenities for residents and visitors,” Mayor Katie Himanga said.
Roger Garlitch submitted a plan to the City Council that met the basic needs and addressed many of the problems involved with reopening the beach house.
“A business that offers cold beverages and snacks, along with rental equipment such as canoes and kayaks, is a welcome addition to the Lake Pepin waterfront,” Himanga said.
“With it comes the reopening of public restrooms at the beach. That’s good for everyone.”
Garlich, who spent many years in the resort business, said he likes working around people who are having fun.
“We are offering people a chance to enjoy various forms of recreation including canoes, paddleboats, surreys, and two- and three-person bicycle rentals,” he said. “It’s great family fun without leaving town.”
Garlitch put together an adventure map for self-guided tours that shows sites of interest that many residents don’t know about. Customers can visit Lake City Plum Orchards or an old graveyard where the Gilberts from Gilbert Valley are buried.
The map also includes information about local businesses and what they have to offer.
“You can access Hok-si-la Park, which does not allow motor vehicles,” Garlitch said. “They have a nice museum, or you can just ride around the park.”
The Beach Cabana offers refreshments and unique gifts — many made by local artists.
“We have a Bosnian family that makes jewelry out of glass found on the beach,” he said. “The glass is old and has been rolled around in the sand so it is very smooth and looks like gem stones.
“We also have glacier agates on display — and I can tell you where to look for them so you can find them your own.”
Marina Administrator Mark Lutjen said the city tried reopening the beach several years ago, but there wasn’t enough interest to keep it open.
“The few days when people came it was very exciting,” Lutjen said. “It brought back memories of the glory days of the fifties and sixties when everybody came to the beach.?