April 1, 2014 Share

LC State Park has new leadership; renovations underway at restaurant

The Lake Cumberland State Resort Park has undergone, and in some cases is still undergoing, several changes the past few months, including a new resort park manager and business manager as well as a renovation of the park's popular restaurant.

The new park manager is Stephen Eastin, a native of Bowling Green and a 1992 graduate of Western Kentucky University. Eastin took over the role as park manager in January when former manager Barry Barenfanger stepped down.

“There has been quite a bit of instability the past five or six years,” Eastin said, saying he was dedicated to the park and that he hoped to be here for the long haul.

Eastin has held several positions while employed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky over the past 12 years. He started his career in June 2001 as a youth worker with the Department of Juvenile Justice at the Warren Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Bowling Green.

Then, in October 2002, he moved to Cadiz, KY to serve as the fitness center supervisor at Lake Barkley State Resort Park. In February 2008 he moved to Glasgow to become the assistant park manager at Barren River Lake State Resort Park.

Eastin filled in as acting resort park manager at Lake Cumberland State Resort Park for five months, beginning in February 2008, as he filled in for the retired Larry Totten.

Then, in February 2009, he moved to Pineville, Ky. to become the park manager at Pine Mountain State Resort Park. He held that position until January of this year when he accepted the resort park manager position at Lake Cumberland.

“I left Camelot but it was just a good time for me to move,” he said. “I had been there five years and was ready for some new challenges.” 

While at Pine Mountain local community involvement was very important to him as he served on several Bell County boards. In 2013 he served as the Bell County Chamber of Commerce secretary and in 2012 and 2013 he was a member of the Pineville Kiwanis Club. He was a Bell County Chamber of Commerce board member from 2009 through 2012 and served as a Bell County Tourism board member from 2009 through 2013.

He said he hopes to get involved in similar activities here in Russell County as time goes on.

Chasity Yarberry began her role as business manager for the park in October 2013. She is a 1997 graduate of Lindsey Wilson College with a degree in Accounting and brings 16 years of management experience to the park. She is the vice president of Renaissance Columbia and is very active with the Downtown Days Festival held annually each October in Columbia.

The largest undertaking at the park is the renovation of the Rowena Landing Restaurant at Lure Lodge which was heavily damaged during one of the recent cold spells.

“We lost our entire restaurant when our pipes busted … we had our own little Cumberland Falls going on,” Eastin said of the occurrence earlier this year. “We still have part of our restaurant (the upper lobby) that seats 80.”

He said their annual Easter meal will be held at the lodge's activity center on Sunday, April 20 and the grand re-opening of the Rowena Landing Restaurant is slated for June 20 with a seafood buffet from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. This will coincide with the 90th anniversary celebration of Kentucky State Parks.

Seven of the lodge rooms were also damaged and are being renovated from double bedrooms into king rooms, Eastin said. Metal roofing is also being added to all the wooden cottages and there are plans in the works for a new roof for the indoor pool this summer.

“We're budgeted for new pavement from the entrance to the park all the way into the park which will be a huge, great deal,” Eastin said. Work on that is expected in fall of this year.

Eastin said he expects employees at the park to finally receive raises this year. “They haven't had raises in probably five years,” he said.

“The governor has put up to five percent this next fiscal year and one percent across the board for everybody the year after that … so that's good news.”

Currently at the park Eastin said there were several positions open that needed to be filled, including these: two full-time cook positions in the kitchen, a maintenance operations tech and a water sewer plant operator in maintenance and a housekeeping supervisor and park worker in housekeeping.

Part-time positions needed to be filled through their temp agency, Adecco, include recreation, front desk, housekeeping, laundry, maintenance, kitchen, servers, hosts, lifeguards, campground and the country store.

Adecco positions can be accessed online by going to www.adeccousa.com and following the instructions there. The full-time applications can be found online at www.ky.gov.