BOULDER CITY - National Park Service officials are blaming low water levels and a decline in business for the upcoming closure of the Echo Bay Marina fuel dock and boat slip facility on the northern part of Lake Mead.
Bill Dickinson, superintendent of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, said no bidders sought the 10-year contract for water-based services at the facility in the Overton arm of the lake.
"It is unfortunate that we have to ask people to leave the Echo Bay Marina after they have spent years vacationing here," Dickinson said.
Forever Resorts, a concessioner that operates several other marinas on lakes Mead and Mohave, provided contract services for the past three years at Echo Bay, including small boat rental, maintenance, repair and storage, and a trailer village and recreational vehicle park. That contract expires Jan. 31.
"Revenues have dropped over the past few years due in part to the recession and declining water levels," Dickinson said, adding that prospective bidders may have been concerned about the economic feasibility of the Echo Bay location, about 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas. A motel and restaurant at the site were closed in 2010 due to business conditions.
Dickinson said the park service wants to maintain visitor access and commercial services on the Overton Arm of the Colorado River reservoir behind Hoover Dam.
But with the 2007 closure of services at Overton Beach and the pending closure of Echo Bay, the closest boat fueling dock will be at Callville Bay, 30 miles away.
That means boaters will need to be aware of how far they can travel and safely return before running out of fuel, Dickinson said.
Dickinson said about 100 boat owners will lose lease space at Echo Bay Marina. A transition team is helping those who want to relocate to marinas at Callville Bay, the Las Vegas Boat Harbor and Temple Bar on Lake Mead, or to Lake Mohave facilities at Cottonwood Cove, Willow Beach or Katherine Landing.
Park officials are trying to keep open the Echo Bay trailer village, RV campsites, dry boat storage and land-based fuel station.
A public boat launch, picnic and campground with public restrooms and an RV dump station will remain open, along with a fish cleaning station.