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Seeing the drought differently

Jane Reuter

DILLON – Dillon Marina Manager Bob Evans has grown weary of worrying about low water. Instead, he’s laughing about it.

Evans is selling T-shirts advertising Drought Tour 2002. The front, a takeoff on the “Got Milk?” campaign, reads, “Got Water?” The back, a map of the lake outlined in a suckhole, shows the dropping water levels over the summer months.

“We’re making lemonade out of lemons,” he said. “That’s all you can do. We’ve got to live with it and do the best we can to deal with it.”

Reservoir levels are 35 feet below normal and dropping from 2 to 4 inches a day.

Assistant marina manager Phil Hofer came up with the idea for the shirts, and the entire staff brainstormed on the design.

The shirts are making a splash, with marina customers snapping them up faster than the lake level drops. Evans ordered 100, which arrived a week ago, in time for last weekend’s Dillon Open. Less than 25 remain.

“The day they came in and I saw the design, I re-ordered,” he said. “People here for the Dillon Open were buying six or seven for their crew members. I’ve gotten a couple e-mails from people that have heard about it and want us to send them to different places around the country.”

As the shirt implies, business at the Dillon Marina isn’t robust. It’s down by about 25 percent, according to Evans.

“We just don’t have the tourists,” he said.

Ironically, business at the Tiki Bar has grown.

“You’ve got to look at the bright side,” Evans said. “(The low water) is really giving us a tremendous chance to get some maintenance work done.”

Marina workers are replacing anchor cables that hold the docks. In a normal water year, Evans would have hired divers to come in and replace those cables, and that “would cost a fortune,” he said.

The T-shirts sell for $16 and may be purchased at the marina shop. Out-of-towners may call the Dillon Marina and order a T-shirt shipped to them by giving a credit card number. Call the Dillon Marina at (970) 468-5100.


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