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Devil's Lake State Park master plan variance proposed for new boat rental facility

By Central Office September 21, 2017

Contact(s): Steve Schmelzer, 608-356-8301 or Paul Holtan, DNR Office of Communications, 608-267-7517

MADISON - The public has through October 5, 2017 to comment on a proposed variance to the master plan for Devil's Lake State Park that would allow for the construction of a new boat rental facility in the park.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is proposing to construct a small boat rental building directly across from the park's Chateau on the North Shore of the lake for the rental and storage of boats and booking of boat tours and other recreational activities (guided interpretive hikes, rock climbing instruction, scuba diving instruction, etc.).

"Devil's Lake State Park has become one of the most popular parks in the Midwest with more than 2.5 million visitors per year," according to Steve Schmelzer, park manager. "With the increase in visitation, there has been a signification increase in the demand for kayak, paddle board, peddle boat and canoe rentals at Devil's Lake."

Currently, boat rentals are done off the loading dock and some temporary counters on the side of the Chateau. The other recreation services would be added as the demand increases. The building would also provide off-season storage of boating equipment that is currently stored outdoors or in racks inside the Chateau, which results in premature breakdown of the equipment.

The building will include clothing changing stalls for visitors. The new facility would add three unplumbed changing stalls and would be handicapped accessible.

The State Natural Resources Board is scheduled to consider accepting a donation of a future completed facility estimated at $105,000 from the Friends of Devil's Lake and Devil's Lake Concession Corporation at its September meeting in Minocqua.

The draft master plan variance and associated documents are available for review on the Department of Natural Resources website, dnr,, by searching keywords "master planning," and clicking on the link for "Devil's Lake State Park Master Plan Variance."  For more information about the park, search "Devil's Lake."

Last Revised: Thursday, September 21, 2017

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