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Tourism continuing to grow at Lake of the Ozarks

Paddle boarders on the Lake (
Paddle boarders on the Lake (
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Since the start of the COVID pandemic, the number of tourists looking to vacation at the Lake of the Ozarks has skyrocketed. Both 2020 and 2021 were record setting years for the Lake of the Ozarks in terms of tourism.

Rental Agency, Your Lake Vacation, owner Russell Burdette is expecting “another banner year” this summer.

“It was a record month every month through the end of ’20. And then last year, I think 10 out of 12 months was a record month for us and it’s just continued,” Burdette said. “We had a record January, we had a record February. March, it was down a little bit, but April’s been a record month for us as well.”

Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Morgan Crainshaw, credits the pandemic to the growth of tourism at the lake.

“The tourist season has expanded so much from what it used to be. It’s not that seasonal Memorial Day through Labor Day. It really truly has expanded,” Crainshaw said.

She said the idea of a vacation by the Lake of the Ozarks has caught the attention of those around the world.

“We’re getting tourists from like Germany, Australia, Russia, and like those types of things as well,” Crainshaw said.

Crainshaw and Burdette both said the pandemic isn’t the only thing drawing people to take a trip to the Lake of the Ozarks.

“The show Ozarks that was out. So, we had people calling from Europe asking about our area. We had people traveling from out of state just to visit the Lake of the Ozarks to see what it was all about. So, I think that helped put us on the map a little bit more,” Burdette said.

Crainshaw also attributed the popular Netflix show to helping the lake area see an increase in tourism.

“It’s eye opening for those tourists who are coming in here and they’re like ‘Oh wow, it’s not just a show’, right, like there’s really things to do here and there’s all different kinds of backgrounds, and ethnicities and its family friendly,” Crainshaw said.

She said the local community is embracing the growth the lake is experiencing.

“Businesses, they’re excited. You know it’s change. It’s something new. I know everyone’s welcoming the growth and popularity the Lake of the Ozarks has gained,” Crainshaw said.

With expectations for such a great 2022, Burdette is already looking forward to Summer 2023.

“We’re already booking for 2023,” Burdette said.

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According to Burdette, between COVID and the show “Ozarks”, so many people found out about the Lake of the Ozarks and he thinks the lake will feel the benefits of that for many years to come.

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