Rising Devils Lake a challenge for local resorts, like Woodland

Mike Bellmore, Features Editor
This is a ground view of some of the new boat slips that have been put into the Woodland Resort Marina this summer.

For a couple of years, Kyle Blanchfield had been watching the Devils Lake floodwater slowly creep up on his Cove and Marina on Creel Bay.

He knew it would need some type of protection.

So they put a plan and design in place, did some research and threw it on the back burner for a while.

When he and his staff heard the forecast for this year and saw what was happening on the big lake, they took the project off that back burner and decided to forge ahead.

That project was the design and implementation of 96 new boat slips for the marina.

“The marina is now too deep for metal boatlifts,” says Woodland Resort owner Kyle Blanchfield.

Blanchfield said most of the major excavation took place in February of this year.

The company he had do the job worked literally 24 hours a day for three weeks. They’d haul dirt in and take it out, he said.

As of now, the marina runs about 14 feet deep, Blanchfield says.

The Cove has filled all the slips too and the demand for them was quite a surprise, Blanchfield admitted.

Blanchfield thinks he knows why.

“It makes for less work for the boat owner,” he admitted. “And there’s more boat protection as well.”

With the unusually cool, rainy spring weather, Blanchfield says he had a pretty slow start to his busy season this spring and summer.

He’s had a lot of other flood-related projects to attend to, however.

As weather hopefully warms, however, business will pick up at the establishment.

Most of the work is finished, however.

“We’ve had a lot of great response,” added Blanchfield. “People are starting to come with their boats now and we think we’ve got an awesome addition.”

“We can really put a positive spin on the thing as we head into summer and the weather gradually warms up.”

Blanchfield says each dock has 43,000 pounds of concrete on the decking.

This is an aerial view of the 96 new boat slips at the Woodland Resort Marina on Creel Bay on Devils Lake.