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September 2, 1999

Ryan Opens State Park Cottages, Repairs Road With $3 Million Grant

CARLYLE - Governor George H. Ryan today announced $3 million grants to expand lodging and improve roads at Eldon Hazlet State Park, while officially opening the first set of cottages available for rent on the western shore of Carlyle Lake.

Ryan and Brent Manning, Director of the Department of Natural Resources, visited the lakefront site to announce the grand opening of the cabins and funding for road improvements.

"Carlyle Lake offers the ultimate surroundings for the location of these cottages and a view of the natural wonders of Southern Illinois," Ryan said. "This administration is working with DNR and Director Manning to follow through on our commitment to increase awareness of the tourist attractions in this area of the state. I think visitors will be pleased with the lodgings we have to offer and the sites and sounds around them."

The $1.5 million lodging complex, located off of Illinois 127, includes 12 cottages each with a living room, bedroom, loft with two twin beds, kitchenette, wet bar, bath and a deck overlooking the lake. Manning said there are six single units and three duplexes available.

Manning noted that Hazlet State Park features boating, hiking, camping, day-use facilities and hunting programs to patrons. "Visitors will truly enjoy the view of the lake and the comfort of these beautiful new waterfront cottages," he said. "The completion of this project provides a really boost to the already attractive recreational offerings on and around Carlyle Lake."

In addition, Ryan announced the area would receive $1.5 million for road improvements for easier traveling into the Park. The governor noted that the funding comes from the state budget passed in may, and other projects in the county and surrounding communities would also be funded through the Fund for Illinois' Future, including some parks improvements, roads and local services in cities and towns throughout the county.

The Fund for Illinois' Future is a $1.6 billion allocation for projects in local communities to bolster the state's economy, promote a clean environment and improve the overall quality of life throughout Illinois. In the next five years, the Illinois FIRST program will commit approximately $460 million for community development projects that should increase tourism.

Hazlet State Park attracts 800,000 visitors annually and current occupancy at the cottages has reached more than 90 percent this season, Manning said. Cottages are offered for $56 per day from May 1 through Oct. 31, or $46 per day from Nov. 1 through April 30 with a daily charge of $8 per person for additional guests. Weekly rates are also available, and each reservation requires a two-day minimum stay with a three-day stay for holiday weekends. Reservations may be made by calling toll free 877-342-8862.


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