MWCD cuts the ribbon on Tappan Marina | News, Sports, Jobs

TL Photo/JD LONG The new restaurant and bar Tappan Marina finally held its official opening ceremony on Friday after numerous delays over the past year.

TAPPAN – A sizable crowd turned out for the long-awaited ribbon cutting of the Tappan Lake Marina building, which features a new restaurant and outdoor patio.

Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District Executive Director Craig Butler spoke briefly before attending the long-awaited grand opening of the new Tappan Lake Marina building on Friday morning. Butler introduced a host of people and thanked many more for their help in making the project happen.

He acknowledged the difficulties in bringing this project to the finish line, which he largely attributed to COVID-19, as well as supply issues. In the beginning, there were also bidding issues where the design had to be changed in order to reduce some of the cost.

“Obviously we can’t do this alone,” Butler started. “We work with a lot of contractors and steel trades, and they’ve done a fabulous job.”

“It was a challenge because of COVID,” Butler said. “It was a challenge due to some supply chain issues…but we always knew we would get there.”

Butler also showed off the new electric charging station that is now in place, located just to the right of the building. And Shari Lewis, owner of Dennison Yard and owner of the Tappan Lake Marina restaurant, also spoke about the restaurant’s plans.

The ambition is to remain open all year round, which was not the case before. She said they are still looking for workers to supplement the summer workforce. But she called the six weeks they’ve been open a “Good start.”

“We couldn’t ask for better starting staff…” she said, adding that they are still building on the menu. Planned events include live music and yoga on the outdoor deck.

“We know we will have audiences this summer, but we have to keep people interested and want them to come back all year round,” said Lewis.

Along with various MWCD department heads, Ohio Representative Don Jones, R-Freeport, was also on hand for the festivities. Only two council members were present, Joanne Limbaugh and Robert Morehead. The Harrison County and Twin City Chambers of Commerce were also present.

Butler spoke later and said the second phase of the master plan is nearing completion with the final two projects, including the Tappan Lake Park Visitor Center, where they are trying to secure a qualified bid.

“The prices are so high it’s been difficult, so we’re still working through that,” Butler said.

The Atwood Lake Park Activity Center is the second project where bids are due to open this week. He said that would be an additional $3-4 million for these two big projects before they could close out Phase II.

There is a third phase, which would encompass amenities where each park would see an additional $2 million injected for activities, according to Butler. This would include wading pools, basketball and pickle ball courts, for example. Butler said the recent deal with Encino Energy to lease 7,300 acres of their land should fund the Phase III projects.

“There are places that we have obviously improved in the park and there are areas that still need to be done,” Butler said, “so each park has additional works that would be infrastructure…”

He added that other ideas include glamping and building more cabins. Butler said the restaurant has been very busy and said they also hope to see it stay open year-round. He also said the mooring business is booming and the demand is overwhelming compared to what they are able to supply at present. But three new docks were added to Tappan and exposed on Friday.

One of the new features allowed boaters to dock, refuel and pay on the spot without having to leave the dock and go inside.

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Rufus T. Sifford