“The cabins are probably, I would say, around 65 percent complete,” Dwayne Barbier, the city’s Director of Recreation and Culture, said. “We’re hoping for a completion date in early December so we can start renting them.”
Each cabin will be able to house eight people and will have two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a combination dining and kitchen area, and one of the three being built now is wheelchair-accessible in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“We’re hoping that the revenue from these three would help with the funding for the remaining 15 cabins,” Barbier said, adding that “there’s no way of knowing” when the remaining 15 cabins would be built “because we do get funding from the state.”
City finance director Deborah Garber said the construction price of the three cabins is $854,985.”
The city received $575,000 from the state Department of Natural Resources Atchafalaya Basin Division, she said. The remainder of the cost is being paid out of the Lake End Park Fund.
“Lake End Park is its own Special Revenue Fund. The expenses at Lake End Park are paid by the revenues generated at the park,” Garber said.
Barbier said that he hopes to use the success from the three cabins to get funding for the additional 15 cabins.
“We’re going to record the use of them, and when we apply for funding, we’ll go to the state and show that the cabins stay busy,” Barbier said.
The park will do some advertising on its own website, but the park’s popularity should lead to referrals from prior visitors, he said.
“The park itself is well-known,” Barbier said. “We’ve had so many calls already just wanting to reserve these cabins. People know about the park. We do very little advertising. It’s a good thing through word-of-mouth from campers who have been there.”
Since January people have called him asking to be put on a waiting list for the cabins, but that no such list exists, partly because there have been delays in the construction of the cabins, he said.
“The cabins were supposed to have been done by September. They had problems with rain delays and roofing materials,” Barbier said. “One of the problems I see is not having enough cabins.