Christina Wells, Lake Gaston Chamber of Commerce executive director, spoke of diversifying Lake Gaston’s clientele at Tuesday’s Rotary meeting.
Lake Gaston’s biggest obstacle remains the public school system.
“It’s a chicken and egg kind of thing. Attracting and obtaining teachers and not really having anywhere for them to live or as much for them to do,” Wells said.
Wells tries to convince elected officials for any county that if they would be the first county to put a sewer at Lake Gaston they would create a lot of money from tourism, which would create many jobs.
“The argument I usually get back from the politicians is ‘how can I advocate for sewer at Lake Gaston when I have constituents who still have an outhouse,” Wells said.
Lake Gaston cannot sustain on its own. As a resort community, the lake and businesses around it operate from Easter weekend to Labor Day weekend.
Some people stay longer than the regular season. Empty nesters that still work are starting to come to Lake Gaston, so it is not just a retirement community anymore. Lake Gaston is within a reasonable commute to larger metropolitan areas, so working adults can commute to work.
“We want as many retirees as we can get because that’s really created an energetic, volunteer oriented, very intelligent, dynamic community around the Lake,” Wells said.
The Lake Gaston community would like more diversification. They continue to work on growing to stay alive and thrive.
The Lake Gaston Chamber of Commerce found a developer wanting to put a hotel/conference center on the Warren County side of Lake Gaston. The developer plans to build condominium units. The hotel’s biggest set back is sewer.
Jobs are available around the Lake it has money going into the economy, which gives an advantage to everybody, even the poorest citizens.
Lake Gaston does not have enough home inventory to fit the amount of people wanting to visit it. If visitors do not have a camper they have to stay in neighboring counties, which Wells said is great because that supports those counties as well.