Pressure washers, window cleaners and gardeners were preparing Ohio’s newest marina building for its opening Saturday – a $4.6 million centerpiece for a reimagined Alum Creek State Park .
To christen the new facility, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is hosting Alum Creekend, a weekend celebration with games, paddling demonstrations, hikes, music, fishing and more Saturday and Sunday.
But the highlight will be Delaware County Park and its new marina at 4000 Hollenback Road, said ODNR director Mary Mertz.
10 things to do this weekend: Lord Huron, Margaret Atwood, ‘Don Pasquale’ and more
“We’re really focused on this park, and it’s sort of the cornerstone,” she said.
Robertson Construction completed the project a few weeks ago. Contractors were adding landscaping, signs and other finishing work Friday morning.
Mertz said the 7,000-square-foot building’s bold blue color, towering cupola, and open-air feel were inspired by the Middle Bass Island marina on Lake Erie.
“We tried to capture that nautical feel,” she said.
First visitor Michael Tobin brought his wife, Michelle Aminov, and children Gaby, 3, and Aviva, 1 1/2, to rent a pontoon boat on Friday.
Ohio State Park Guide: Hike, camp, kayak, climb, learn and more on state public lands
“Sounds awesome,” said Tobin, of Powell. “We’re only going out for a few hours. But it seems like a nice place to hang out.”
Park manager Jason Meyers said the old 1980s marina, which was replaced by the new building, was very dated.
“It had become too useful and had a lot of wear and tear,” Meyers said.
A modern food concession will offer burgers, chicken sandwiches, ice cream and milkshakes. An outdoor patio with ceiling fans and music adds to the vacation vibe.
“We’re trying to promote a lakeside lifestyle,” said Bryan Dreyer, a partner at Cross Enterprises, operating food and marina concessions that were previously in separate buildings. “I think this building is a game-changer.”
Dog park guide: Doggies can play, make friends, and even enjoy a dog wading pool at these local dog parks
The modern restrooms and four private showers, facing Lake Alum Creek, are perhaps the most popular.
The marina is funded by a boater safety fund, boat rentals and gasoline taxes.
Alum Creekend Activities and Schedule
Weekend events start at 11 a.m. on Saturday and end at 4 p.m. on Sunday.
The following locations around the park will host Alum Creekend activities:
Beach, 3400 Lewis Center Road
Archery, the Wildlife Division’s mobile food kitchen, life vest relay races, paddle sports demonstrations and a Touch-A-Truck exhibit will be offered at the south end of the beach. Guided storytelling trail hikes will be offered at the north end. Food trucks will offer refreshments for sale. Swimming, playground and picnic tables are also available.
Campground, 2911 S. Old State Road
Nature arts and crafts workshops, games and a scavenger hunt will take place at the park’s nature center. Meet the naturalist and get a preview of the nature center’s interior renovation.
Sailing Association, Lewis Center Road west of beach entrance
Sailing demonstrations and related activities will be available at the refuge, located before the entrance to the group camp area. Experienced sailors from the Alum Creek Sailing Association will be on hand to answer questions. Sailing activities are available on Saturdays only.
Hollenback Boat Launch, 4000 Hollenback Road
The site of the new marina building, this area will offer marina tours and fishing for young people. The new Marina Commissioner will be open all weekend and live music will be available on Saturday afternoon.
Mountain Bike Trailhead, 5831 Lewis Center Road
Volunteers from the Central Ohio Mountain Bike Association will provide mountain bike demonstrations for riders of all ages, including the youth skills course. In addition, adapted bicycle and kayak equipment will be available for the demonstration.
US Army Corps of Engineers Visitor Center, 3905 Lewis Center Road
Take the short trail from the beach or head to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Visitor Center for the opportunity to visit the center’s nature exhibits, watch a bird of prey show Ohio, tour the dam or learn more about the area’s Underground Railroad history. Activities are offered on both days.