End of Summer Season

End of Summer Season
By: Holly Brantley
REYNOLDS COUNTY, Mo. -- Hundreds of tourists soak up the sun at Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park for the last time this season.
"I'm happy to see it," said Alex Perret. "I thought it would be completely wiped out. I'm glad it's still here."
Nearly two years ago, the Taum Sauk reservoir failure closed the shut-ins. After a massive clean up effort, officials opened the park with limited access. Park Manager, Kim Burfield says since then, they've welcomed between 800 and 1,200 visitors a day during weekends.
"We've had a good number of visitors this summer," said Burfield. "Our weekends have been heavier than week days."
Most visitors say they are happy to see the park open.
"It's a lot different," said Perret.
"I'm happy to see some areas didn't change much," said Jeff Zimmer.
Eventually giving visitors full access to the park is the goal for managers. Burfield says they hope to be nearly 100% by next season.
"We hope to be fully operational by 2008," said Burfield. "It's hard to say anything other that."
The park remains a work in progress and there's still a lot of work left to do.
"Roads, utilities," said Burfield. "Just getting visitors services up."
"It takes time but they'll get it done," said Zimmer.
"We're just glad people were able to come this summer," said Burfield. "We hope they realize the park is a work in progress and we hope they'll be optimistic that when we open again this will be a beautiful place to come back to."