CLOSE

Farmington officials looking for commercial partners for 2 projects

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

FARMINGTON — Over the past few years, Lake Farmington has become one of the crown jewels of the city’s inventory of outdoor recreation amenities.

The location provides opportunities for swimming, mountain biking, off-highway vehicle use, bird watching, fishing, kayaking and camping. 

Each year for the past few years, the city has increased the outdoor recreation options at the lake. That emphasis on development of the lake comes as Farmington works to create more outdoor recreation opportunities.

“Opening up Lake Farmington in 2014 was kind of the impetus that kicked off our outdoor recreation push,” Mayor Nate Duckett said in a Mayor’s Table video released Oct. 21.

The lake had gone almost unused for several years after an invasive species scare led to watercraft being banned from the lake. Fishing and the return of watercraft, such as canoes and kayaks, marked the start of the city's work to transform Lake Farmington into a destination. 

The city began planning additional developments — including millions of dollars of investment — at the lake and, in 2016, opened up an area of the lake known as The Beach for swimming. This year, the city added trails, as well as shade structures.

More: Farmington will build trails connecting lake to Glade Run

And Farmington plans to continue adding options at the lake. The city has begun its search for private developers the city could partner with for two projects that could increase the number of people who visit the lake.

More: Ziplines, challenge course among options for aerial adventure park

One of those projects would include a zipline over the lake as part of an aerial adventure park. The second project the city hopes to partner with a developer on would add cabins for visitors to stay in while at the lake. 

More: Farmington gathers public input on park options

For both proposals, the city would provide land, access and utilities at market rate to a developer. The developer would then construct and operate the cabins or the aerial adventure park. The cabin developer also would oversee the existing campground.

More: New campground opening at Farmington Lake

Lake Farmington attracts thousands of visitors each year. Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs spokeswoman Christa Chapman said 18,553 vehicles have entered the lake this year. The entrance station opened in mid-April, prior to that visitors paid at a self-pay station.

“We don’t know how many people were in each vehicle,” she said, adding that the city also does not know what each visitor did while they were at the lake.

She said that number is approximately 1,000 more vehicles than in 2018.

While the city does not know how many people were in each vehicle, it does know that 9,874 people swam at The Beach this year. That facility has its own admission gate, which is monitored.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

Support local journalism with a digital subscription: http://bit.ly/2I6TU0e

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: https://www.daily-times.com/story/news/local/farmington/2019/10/25/farmington-plans-new-amenities-lake-its-popularity-grows/2455216001/