Burr Oak state lodge closes
Glouster, Ohio – Burr Oak State Park Lodge in Morgan County
closed on Tuesday, Jan. 31, but the Ohio DNR remains committed to
both the park and facility, according to agency spokesperson
The DNR is currently formulating plans for reopening Burr Oak
Lodge as a destination park with an “action-adventure” facility.
McCorkle wasn’t specific, but said details would be announced in
about a month.
The park’s 30 cottages, which are operated apart from the lodge,
remain open in the interim.
Xanterra Parks & Resorts announced in August that it would
not renew its contract to manage the lodge. That announcement left
the future of the 60-room facility, along with its 23 full-time and
22 part-time employees, in question.
Traditionally, the state “bundles” contracts for its
less-profitable lodges with those more profitable, such as Maumee
Bay, in order to attract national management companies like
Xanterra. In the case of Burr Oak, no other manager stepped forward
to bid on the property.
Xanterra also manages lodges at Deer Creek, Mohican, Maumee Bay,
Punderson and Salt Fork state parks. Delaware North operates the
lodge at Geneva State Park. U.S. Hotel & Resort Management,
Inc. handles lodges at Shawnee and Hueston Woods state parks.
Despite a picturesque setting, Burr Oak has long been a
financial loser among the state’s nine state park lodges. McCorkle
blamed the lodge’s low occupation rate on its remote location.
Like the generation of state park lodges built in the 1960s and
70s, Burr Oak was constructed without extensive marketing research
to determine its “draw” and financial viability. Over the years,
the state attempted to compensate for that lack of pre-construction
research with programs and rate packages designed to attract
In 1950, Burr Oak Lake was created by the construction of the
Tom Jenkins Dam across the east branch of Sunday Creek. Two years
later, the state designated 2,593 water and land acres in the area
as Burr Oak State Park.